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18 January 2018

Lackham students support charity in Christmas tree recycling scheme for second year running

Wiltshire College has teamed up with Dorothy House to support its Christmas tree collection scheme, which has raised more than £12,000.

This is the second year the charity, which offers end of life care to patients, has run the scheme expanding into more areas around Melksham, Frome, Westbury, Bradford-on-Avon, Corsham, Trowbridge and parts of Bath.

It is also the second time that the College has been involved.

In total, supporters and volunteers for Dorothy House collected more than 1,500 real Christmas trees at the beginning, 300 of which were delivered to the Lackham campus, which specialises in Land-Based courses.

Horticulture, Land and Wildlife Management and Land-Based students then had the chance to learn a new skill by chipping all the trees, thanks to support from Bill Johnston from T H White, who brought along a machine to assist in the recycling process.

Wood chippers are used to reduce wood to smaller pieces, which can then be used for many different things including mulch in gardening and landscaping.

Bill, who was also involved last year, said: “I was really pleased to be involved once again to bring along the chipper and demonstrate its safe use as well as provide ongoing maintenance.

“Slightly different, this year the students had the chance to use the A540, which is Jensen’s best-selling machine.”

Vince Platt is a Level 2 Horticulture student and said he enjoyed the experience.

The 18-year-old said: “Before I came to Lackham I had studied A-Levels and did abstract subjects, which I really didn’t enjoy.

“I really like this course as its practical and this course gives us lots of opportunities such as this, which are hugely beneficial.

“I enjoyed the training with Bill and having a go at chipping the Christmas trees.”

Anthony Cockell, is Head Gardener at Lackham and liaised with Dorothy House to ensure the College’s support.

He said: “It’s a privilege for the College to play a part in what is a fast growing fundraising scheme for Dorothy House.

“Of course this means our students get the chance for further training and this time with the world’s best wood chipper built by Jensen!

“Bill supported us again with a first class demonstration of the mechanics and operation for five classes.
“We owe him our thanks for his time and value it gave our students here at Lackham.”

The fresh chippings will predominantly be used on the bark paths around the campus as they reduce weed germination.

Anthony added: “The material decomposes slowly, only needing to be reapplied annual so its traditionally one of the warm winter jobs we have!”

Steph Cox, is a Community Fundraiser for Dorothy House and said: “We are over the moon to have raised £12,800, twice the amount last year.

“It is such a great feeling knowing that the local community has been so supporting by donating their Christmas trees and that this benefits students at Wiltshire College who not only learn how to chip trees, but the best use for them.”