Christmas trees could slow down erosion in Hemsby

Save Hemsby Coastline is asking people to donate their old Christmas trees to create sea defences. P

Save Hemsby Coastline is asking people to donate their old Christmas trees to create sea defences. Photo: MIKE PEAKE - Credit: Mike Peake

Visitors to Hemsby's coastline may be used to seeing marram grass on the dunes, but there may soon be a more festive feel as campaigners fight to slow down erosion.

Save Hemsby Coastline is asking people to donate their old Christmas trees to create sea defences. P

Save Hemsby Coastline is asking people to donate their old Christmas trees to create sea defences. Photo: MIKE PEAKE - Credit: Mike Peake

Volunteers from Save Hemsby Coastline (SHC), a group dedicated to raising public awareness and funds to help protect the dunes and coastline, have been asking people to donate their used Christmas trees to the cause.

The trees will be pushed into the sand, standing upright, with the hope that the sand will build up against them and create a dune.

This is a similar method to that of the chestnut paling installed on the beach in March 2015, which now has sand built up along it.

Noel Galer, a trustee of SHC, said volunteers had been trying to come up with different ideas which could prevent erosion.

New sea defence, Chestnut Paling has been placed along Hemsby coastline.

New sea defence, Chestnut Paling has been placed along Hemsby coastline. - Credit: Nick Butcher

'It's a scheme which was spotted online by one of our volunteers, being used in Cornwall,' Mr Galer said.

'So we started collecting around three weeks before Christmas, and the trees came in dribs and drabs.

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'But since Christmas has finished, and people have been looking to get rid of their trees, it's really built up - we've even been offered trees from organisations that had them up in their halls and entrances.'

People have been dropping trees - little and large - at the 'tree re-homing centre' at the bottom of the Beach Road car park in Hemsby. And on January 3 the drop off area had to be extended because so many trees had been donated that it was overflowing.

But Mr Galer said that donations of real trees will still be taken up until Sunday, January 10.

'If anyone still has their tree we'd really like them to donate it to help save the coastline,' he said.

'But we'll also be looking for volunteers to help us plant them in the sand when they are all collected.'

To donate your real Christmas tree, either drop it off at the collection point before Sunday, or if you need the tree collected get in touch with SHC. You should also contact SHC if you can donate your time to place the trees on the beach.

The group is available on www.savehemsbycoastline.co.uk or via email on noel@savehemsbycoastline.co.uk. You can also search for 'Save Hemsbys Coastline' on Facebook.