UNWANTED Christmas trees have been put to good use raising funds for Bury Hospice.

Hardworking volunteers have been collecting the trees from homes across the borough in return for a donation to the charity which provides end of life care and support for patients and their families.

A team of 25 dedicated volunteers, which included a group of ex-firefighters spent three days collecting 1,163 trees from doorsteps between Friday, January 8 and Sunday, January 10.

This year's tree-cycling service generated £18,500 and brought in record donations of £15,000 for Bury Hospice - a 50% increase on last year’s figure.

The old spruces and fir trees were taken to Ashley Edge Tree and Garden Services Ltd, where they were chipped during the collection and recycled - a much more eco-friendly solution than sending trees to landfill.

Dale Mulgrew, Bury Hospice's events fundraiser, who took part in the collections, said: "Thank you to everyone who has supported the hospice by using the service and a special thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time and put in so much hard work to make it happen. Without them, we could not do it.

“It was hard work, but it was good fun and there was a great team spirit.

“Hopefully next year we can collect even more trees and make it another record fundraising event for the hospice."

Tree-cycling is a business-supported initiative, with local firms getting behind the campaign by donating vans, people and resources.

The hospice gave a special thanks to Bespoke Landscapes, Ashley Edge Tree & Garden Services, Parcelfast, Lostock Installations, Senior Waste Removals, Ferriday Motor Bodies, A&A Couriers, Timothy’s NW and a great team of volunteers, who donated their time and equipment for the collection.