STUDENTS from Merrist Wood College have been recycling Christmas trees as part of a fundraiser to help Shooting Star Children's Hospices.

The Worplesdon college, known for its arboriculture, animal management and conservation courses, has seen volunteers from students and staff take delivery of van loads of trees.

"More than 375 trees were delivered, and our arboriculture and countryside students wasted no time in gaining loads of valuable practical experience by learning how to operate and feed each tree through their state-of-the-art Forst chipper, filling the air with a festive fragrance of pine!" said the college's Louise Bunner.

"The chippings will be used throughout the year as mulch across our 400-acre site which will benefit our horticulture learners and estates team.

"We take huge pride in forming community partnerships and collaborations and we’ve been delighted to support the Christmas tree collection and recycling service."

The trees were collected by volunteer drivers from Sky, Amazon and Keir from homes across local postcodes who had made a donation to the charity.

Chippings from all the trees will be used as mulch throughout the year the college campus. (Merrist Wood)

The fundraising event has raised more than £6,500 for the charity, while offering real-life work experience for the students.

Rumour Giles, corporate relationship manager at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, said: “Thank you so much for everyone’s support at Merrist Wood, it was incredible seeing the students getting involved with chipping the trees and gaining first-hand experience with the machinery.

“It is important to find new ways to raise funds so that we can continue supporting children and families.”