Reusing Norway spruce to help nature conservation in Crabtree Fields

Deadwood area.

A deadwood area next to a brick wall provides an important habitat for wildlife.

The Friends group made light work on Saturday morning of a couple of discarded Christmas trees left on the pavement outside Crabtree Fields public open space.

Twenty minutes with a pair of pruning loppers and a handsaw, and the abandoned festive decoration was ready to be upcycled as deadwood to support insects.

The Christmas tree or more correctly Norway spruce (Picea abies) is a familiar non-native, and a value to native wildlife even when it is dead and chopped up.

Deadwood provides sustenance, nutrients and shelter for numerous species of animals, plants and fungi. It directly increases habitat diversity and provides niches which are more stable, moist and sheltered than most surrounding habitats.

Conservationists with the Friends group have been working hard over the winter months cutting back vegetation and creating piles of “brash” and leaves to improve biodiversity in Crabtree Fields.

Camden’s parks contractor idverde wanted to come along with leaf blowers and destroy the habitat. But after a series of meetings to educate idverde and Camden council they have adopted and praised the cutting edge nature conservation work being carried out by the Friends.

But please don’t dump your unwanted Christmas trees in our parks and open spaces. The work the Friends do is only voluntary and a lot of preparation work needs to be done. Instead, please see Camden Council’s website page on how to recycle your Christmas tree.

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