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A record number of Christmas trees have been donated to the National Trust to help the battle against the erosion of Formby's internationally important sand dunes. The trees, which are expected to number more than 3,500, have been provided by home enhancement retailer, Homebase, and its staff from up and down the country will be joining local volunteers to plant them.
The team at Formby has been accepting donations of Christmas trees for a number of years from local residents and businesses but this is the first time they have received a contribution on this scale. The trees will be used to create more than a mile of brush fencing, placing the trees in rows where the dunes are most vulnerable. The aim is to slow down and catch sand to help build up the dunes. In the coming months, the trees will gradually be buried, helping to hold the dunes together.
Andrew Brockbank, Countryside Manager for the National Trust at Formby, said: "Formby is part of the beautiful Sefton Coast sand dune system with its typical dune habitats and wildlife of national and European significance.
"But our dunes are under constant pressure from the forces of wind and tide, and are actively building and moving inland as the coastline retreats at a rate of around four metres a year. We are trying to slow the sand as it blows across the dunes and these trees make an excellent material for building these brush fences to effectively trap sand in the dunes. The mobile dunes are a natural sea defence which help to buffer high tides and storm surges.
Most people are familiar with Formby's red squirrels but the Formby dunes are also home to a wealth of other rare and endangered wildlife. Two such inhabitants are the Natterjack Toad, whose cacophonous chorus on mild May evenings carries over half a mile and earns it the nickname nearby of Birkdale Nightingale, as well as the Northern Dune Tiger Beetle which can only be found at two sites in the whole of Britain - Formby and the West Cumbrian coast near Drigg."
Andrew added: "We are delighted that Homebase has decided to give us so many trees - this means that, with the help of our volunteers, we can create over a mile of brush fencing and help slow the erosion's progress."
Paul Hilton, Garden World Operations Manager at Homebase says, "This is a fantastic scheme that we are proud to be part of. We at Homebase are constantly committed to being a considerate and ethical retailer and this is a prime example of the work we strive to do."
Though thousands of trees are coming from Homebase, more are always welcome. Please save your Christmas tree and bring it to Formby in early January. If you would like to stay and help dig in your tree - and perhaps a few others as well - please call us on 01704 878591 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All are welcome to help at a series of two-hour volunteer sessions at the following dates and times:
Thursday 19 January: 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm
Friday 20 January: 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm
Saturday 21 January: 11am-2pm
Thursday 26 January: 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm
Friday 27 January: 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm
- ENDS -
For further information please contact:
Suzanne Elsworth, National Trust Communications Consultant for the Outdoors, on 015394 63811 email@example.com or Homebase press office at iris PR: Homebase.firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7922 8122.
The National Trust at Formby
Formby nature reserve is about much more than the fascinating red squirrels. Acquired by the National Trust in 1967, the site is great for coastal walks and features prehistoric footprints which can be seen on the shoreline in summer, world famous Formby asparagus, rare wildlife and impressive dunes and beaches. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-formby
The National Trust is one of the most active nature conservation organisations in Europe and cares for over 700 miles of coast, and 250,000 hectares of countryside including woodlands, farmland, wetlands and upland areas; many of which are rich in wildlife. All 17 species of UK bat have been recorded as roosting or breeding on National Trust land and 96 per cent of all resident UK butterflies can be found at National Trust places. Ninety three per cent of our land has been surveyed for its nature conservation importance. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nature
Homebase is one of the UK's leading home enhancement retailer and is recognised for choice, style and customer service. It has more than 340 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland. In the financial year to February 2011, Homebase sales were £1.6 billion and it employed some 19,000 people across the business.
Homebase sells over 38,000 products across its home enhancement
ranges, and has a growing Internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk
Homebase serves over 65 million customers per year through its stores and offers customers the convenience of home delivery for bulky, high-value items.
Homebase was the first UK DIY retailer to achieve Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification and the first national DIY retailer to be recognised with a Government TrustMark Award, achieved for its kitchen installation service.
Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK's leading home and general merchandise retailer.
Home Retail Group has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard which certifies that we have genuinely reduced our carbon footprint. We call our responsible approach 'the basis of good business'. Find out more at www.basisofgoodbusiness.co.uk
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