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Volunteers needed to help collect old plastic tree guards

Published: 21 May 2021

Plastic Tree Guards Plastic Tree Guards

Volunteers are being sought to help collect thousands of now-defunct plastic tree guards at a beauty spot in Topsham. Exeter City Council is keen to get the local community involved in the clear-up.

The spiral tree guards were used to protect the trees at Millennium Woodland when they were first planted between 1999 and 2005.

Now the trees have matured, the guards are no longer needed and are starting to break down, littering the popular site.

Exeter City Council estimate there are between 2,500 and 5,000 of the guards that need to be disposed of. Unfortunately the plastic cannot be recycled but will instead be taken to the Energy from Waste facility at Marsh Barton.

To enable this to happen, the Council has placed a dumpy bag at the Millennium Woodland site and is hoping that local people may be able to help.

Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for City Management, said: “The woodland was planted by volunteers over 20 years ago – made up of local community and school groups, a conservation group from Exeter University, and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

“The idea was to plant native trees and a hedgerow and create a woodland that members of the public could enjoy.”

Cllr Harvey added that clearing up the plastic guards was a big undertaking but could be made much simpler if everyone did a little bit.

“We were hoping to organise a community event to collect the tree guards but because of covid that’s not happenend.

“We’ve placed a large dumpy bag on the site and would be really grateful if people could pick up the odd guard when they went for their walk and place them in there.  With many hands we should be able to make light work of the task,” he added.

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