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Hedgehog surrounded by foliage


We are encouraging people to think sustainably when they dispose of their real cut trees this festive season.  


Our Horticultural Director, Marcus Eyles, has created these top tips on how people can repurpose their real cut Christmas trees to create a wildlife haven for small animals and insects to shelter in during the winter months and reduce waste in the new year.  

This is part of our #SustainableDobbies campaign. 

Image: © British Hedgehog Preservation Society

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is a wildlife charity dedicated to helping and protecting hedgehogs in the UK, and wants to encourage people to follow Marcus's tips to recycle their Christmas trees and create a safe space for hedgehogs and other wildlife in their gardens. Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society said: “We’re delighted that Dobbies are shining a light on ways in which people can create a safe space for hedgehogs and other wildlife in their gardens. Hedgehog numbers are in decline, and they have recently been added to the UK Red List as a species that is vulnerable to extinction. We all need to play our part in improving their habitat and we hope people will take advantage of these tips to help create a safe place for wildlife in their gardens.”

For more information on how to protect hedgehogs visiting your garden, visit The British Hedgehog Preservation Society website

Our top tips:

  • Remove the tree from your house carefully to stop any loose needles from dropping. Marcus recommends wearing thick gloves to protect your hands.  
  • Using a good quality pair of secateurs, starting from the top remove each branch as close as possible to the main stem.  
  • Stack the branches together four or five pieces high and place onto soil or leaves under large shrubs, trees or hedges. 
  • Repeat this process until all the branches are used. This will provide a great shelter for small animals and insects to protect them from the worst of the winter weather. Marcus points out that the needles and branches will breakdown over time to produce organic matter than will enrich the soil. 
  • For the main trunk of the tree use a pruning saw to cut into 30cm lengths, which can then be stacked to make a mini log pile which is a great habitat for wildlife to shelter in.