Over 1700 used Christmas trees were collected by volunteers in Darlington and Newton Aycliffe last week, raising thousands of pounds for the region’s St. Teresa’s Hospice.

A team of 70 Darlington Rotarians borrowed 23 large vans to tour local streets taking away the trees for recycling into garden fertilizer.

“For just a small donation from homeowners, we saved significant mess in their cars and generated vital funds for the hospice,” said Rotary organiser David Hayward.

“Thanks to the generosity of residents in Darlington and Newton Aycliffe we raised over £12,000 in just one day of collecting.”

The vans were provided free by Drive Vauxhall, Darlington Council plus hire companies Enterprise and Charter.

The operation was run from Drive’s Darlington Vauxhall garage. Taylors the Butcher provided several hundred bacon butties to help boost the volunteers’ energy and the trees were recycled by the Wade Group.

St. Teresa’s Hospice chief executive, Jane Bradshaw, said: “Once again we have had an incredibly positive response to our tree recycling scheme.

“I would like to thank all volunteers for giving up their time to take part in the collection, and our corporate and community supporters, without whom none of this would be possible.

“And thank you everyone in Newton Aycliffe who asked us to collect their tree and help raise much needed funds for our hospice.”

This is now the ninth year the Rotary Club has collected used trees raising in total over £59,000 for the hospice.