Hundreds of people living in Wiltshire have taken the step to reduce Christmas waste and raise money instead, Julia's House children's hospice has revealed.

The hospice charity, which runs a yearly Christmas tree collection service, saw record numbers of people donate and recycle their trees in 2023.

In Wiltshire, 627 trees were donated in 2023, which was almost 400 more than the previous year, and the service collected a grand total of 2090 trees across counties.

These trees were taken by volunteers to The Old Potato Yard in Devizes where they were recycled as chippings for use on local farms and community spaces.

In addition to this, more than £17,000 was raised by donations to the service.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Christmas tree collection was a huge community effort by volunteers.The Christmas tree collection was a huge community effort by volunteers. (Image: Julia's House)

Speaking about the incredible achievement, community fundraiser Claudia Hickin said: "We’ve been blown away by the response we’ve had to our tree collection – it’s been brilliant to see bookings almost triple in Wiltshire! 

"We’d like to say a jolly big thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s event a fundraising success, from our dedicated team of helpers to the local people who made donations for their tree collection.

“We’re thrilled to have raised these vital funds to support our care for local families.” 

The £17,229 raised from donations will go towards caring for Wiltshire's most seriously ill children and their families in the Devizes hospice and in families' homes.

The charity relies almost entirely on donations from the local community to fund its critical service.