Christmas Tree Recycling – Ashford (Cancelled)

Saturday 16 January 2021 - Tuesday 19 January 2021

Cancellation of Christmas Tree Recycling following announcement of new Tier 4 restrictions

The ongoing health crisis is at the forefront of all of our minds as we navigate a very challenging winter. Here at Pilgrims Hospices, we’ve been monitoring the guidance from authorities to inform how best we can do our part to protect our patients, staff, volunteers and, of course, the wider community that we serve.

Due to the unforeseen government announcement on Saturday 19th December 2020, relating to the current spread of COVID-19 across the region and the introduction of new ‘Tier 4’ restrictions affecting Kent, Pilgrims Hospices can no longer safely continue with our planned Christmas Tree Recycling scheme.

It is with sincere regret and resignation that the decision has been made to cancel the event for the safety of all involved in-line with the government’s new ‘Stay at Home’ guidelines.

The Christmas Tree Recycling scheme relies on a large number of volunteers (working in small family bubbles) to carry out the logistics necessary for such an initiative; during collections in the Ashford area, at the drop off stations in Canterbury and Thanet, and in the many days beforehand as event logistics, equipment and collection routes are arranged. Their safety, and that of our supporters is our highest priority and that is why, in light of these new guidelines, we must make this unfortunate decision.

While we understand that this decision may come as a disappointment to some, we hope that you will agree that it is a necessary one in the fight to delay the spread of coronavirus in our community.

We are saddened that we will be unable to fulfil tree recycling bookings as requested. Over the past 8 years, through the scheme, you have raised in excess of £115,000 for Pilgrims Hospices care and many hundreds of you had already pledged your support this festive season. It is only through the kind donations from members of our community, like you, that we are able to continue providing skilled and compassionate end-of-life care to all who need it across east Kent. This year more than ever, your support is so important to us, thank you.

What will happen with my Christmas Tree Recycling entry?

In light of the event’s cancellation, we are offering refunds to all donors upon requests to Please submit your request to receive a refund before Sunday 17th January 2021. All refund requests will be automatically processed commencing 18th January 2021.

However, if you wish for Pilgrims Hospices to keep your donation to support the care of our patients over the festive period and beyond, there is nothing further you need to do. If we haven’t received a refund request by the above deadline, we will ensure you are thanked for your kind gift.

Due to the event cancellation and as we can longer collect Christmas Trees, please refer to your local council website regarding how to dispose of your tree. More information here:

During this health crisis, Pilgrims nurses, doctors and support staff are still here providing specialist end-of-life care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community, making them comfortable, alleviating pain and enabling them to live well for the time that they have.

Thank you so much for your continuing support of Pilgrims Hospices, especially during this challenging time. Keep well, take care of each other and very best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

With best wishes,
Sue Sharp, Director of Income Generation & Marketing
and the Pilgrims Hospices Fundraising Team

Registration for the Pilgrims Hospices Tree Recycling scheme has been closed due to government COVID-19 restrictions.

Due to the event cancellation and as we can longer collect Christmas Trees, please refer to your local council website regarding how to dispose of  your tree. More information here:

Pilgrims Hospices Tree Recycling fundraising campaign offers Christmas tree collections from homes across the Ashford Borough Council area.

Supporters register real Christmas trees in return for a chosen donation and our friendly team of Pilgrims volunteers elves will collect them from you.

The scheme was extended over four days to allow for social distancing, with the volunteers working in family bubbles or work teams and wearing safe PPE throughout.

There’s no need to mess up your car with pine needles, Pilgrims volunteers will do all the hard work for you and, in turn, you will be helping to support the vital end-of-life care of local people through your donation.

Our hospice elves are already getting our fabulous Christmas Tree Recycling scheme set for the busy season. Last year, the donations we received in return for collecting residents’ Christmas trees totalled over £21,000 and we hope even more people will register this time.

Louise Newman, Pilgrims Hospice Ashford Community Fundraising Manager


You must register your tree for collection by Sunday 10th January 2021.

Collections will take place between Saturday 16th – Tuesday 19th January 2021 from 7:30am. All trees must be left in a clearly visible and safely accessible place at your property. Our volunteers will be working even harder this year, with fewer people, so when booking please give an accurate description of the location that you intend to leave your tree.

Any trees over 8ft tall or 4ft wide will need to be chopped up. Please let us know when booking if you have more than one tree (maximum 2 per household). Finally, please give generously to support Pilgrims Hospices who are Still Here; Still Caring during this pandemic.

Registration for this event has closed

Check whether your address is in the Ashford Borough Area via this map

Please note: images were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-Secure Collections

You’ll see some changes to our Christmas tree collections in order to keep both you and our team safe during the pandemic. These measures include:

  • Reduced crew sizes to allow for social distancing and extended collections over 4 days to allow for fewer crew members.
  • Our team will be working in family units, bubbles and safe team formats. All crew members will be wearing face coverings, using hand sanitiser regularly and following strict Covid-secure measures which will following Government guideance throughout.
  • Trees must be left in an easy to collect location at the exterior of the front of your property and please do not block public access.

Pilgrims Hospices will continue to monitor government guidance regarding any potential impact to the event relating to tier restrictions. The event will be operated in a socially distanced and COVID-secure format throughout. We are working closely with KCC, local councils, recycling centres and private land owners regarding the safe operation. We will continue to update you should there be any changes to the proposed operation.

How your donation could help

This Christmas, your kind support could help local people who are living with a life-limiting illness.

  • £10 could pay for a patient’s Christmas dinner.
  • £15 could give a complimentary therapy session to a patient, relieving anxiety.
  • £20 could provide for a physiotherapy session to help patients stay active and enjoy festive games with their family on Christmas day.
  • £30 could pay for our Community Team to hold a video consultation with a patient in their own home.
  • £45 could pay for one-on-one counselling for someone struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one this festive season.
  • £100 could allow our community nurses to continue making home visits, ensuring that patients can spend Christmas at home with family and friends.

How are the Christmas trees recycled and how is the money raised?

This campaign, now in its 9th year, has raised an incredible £115,000 to support the vital care of patients facing incurable illness in east Kent. In January 2020 alone, we collected over 1,350 real Christmas trees and raised in excess of £21,000 thanks to your kind donations. We are only able to raise this through our community giving generously when booking online.

The tale of the collected trees is that they are picked up on specially planned rounds by our volunteer elves and the trees are taken to Cobbs Wood Recycling Centre. From there, they are taken to an outlet at Blaise Farm in West Malling and they are composted within a covered building system. At Blaise Farm there are two grades of compost that are produced, these are a 20mm grade used for agricultural purposes and a 10mm grade used as a soil improver for general composting and landscaping uses. What’s even better is that, whilst helping to support the charity, you will be reducing your environmental impact too. Some of our trees are also chipped and used for composts locally, some are used for horse jumps at an equestrian centre and others are chipped and donated to an animal rescue centre. So, as you can see, your tree’s onward journey is far more valuable than just being put out after Christmas.

Companies pledge support

Several local companies have already pledged their support. Special thanks to our partners Ashford Borough Council.


Thank you so much for your support

Every generous donation from our amazing community of supporters helps to make sure we can be there for the next family who needs us.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, find out about the full range of services Pilgrims can offer.

Why not embrace the spirit of Christmas even more with our other festive fundraising activities:

  • Winter Wonderland Walk: A family-friendly virtual 10km walk to help an elf reach the North Pole.
  • Letters from Santa: Request a beautifully illustrated and personalised Letter from Santa for a child, grandchild, niece or nephew, in return for a donation.
  • Christmas e-cards: View our fantastic range of festive e-card designs and donate the cost of cards and stamps this year.