Christmas trees protect towns in England from massive floods

christmas trees

These Christmas trees spread joy all year round!

According to the Sunday Times, some towns in the Yorkshire area in England are hit by massive floods that cost the towns hundreds of millions in damages. But now, one local resident might have found a solution to turn the tide. And it is a very merry solution indeed. In the future, Christmas trees will be keeping the town save from excessive torrents.

Job search

In 2020, when the pandemic hit and the first lockdown started, Sara Tomkins lost her job as a music venue director due to redundancy. That is when she started looking for a new project to stay busy. And while looking out the window at the small number of Christmas trees in her garden, she became inspired. Especially the environmental impact of the Christmas tree business impacted her decision to start her own Christmas tree farm. She told the Sunday Times: “It’s a climate disaster every December. I couldn’t figure out why, as a society, we don’t replant them after use or why there are so few places that offer that service. It’s like we have this blind spot because it’s Christmas. So, I thought I’d try doing it myself.”

And that is why, on a spring day in 2020, she planted 400 fir trees in her backyard.

Recycled trees

Now, every Christmas, the trees are rented out to locals who then return the tree in January. Tomkins replants the trees until they have to get ‘back to work’ when December comes back around. Her business, called ‘Rooted’, was extremely popular right away. The first December after starting her business, all the trees were hired out. A lot of people are returning customers; asking if they could have the same tree again next Christmas. “It’s like people adopt them…They become part of the family,” she told the Times.

But at some point, the trees become too big to be a Christmas tree in someone’s living room. And that is when the trees get to fulfill their new purpose: keeping the towns save from floods.


After their last day of work as a Christmas tree, the trees are replanted on the slopes of the Cedar Valley. This will be done by a local charity called ‘Slow the Flow’ who work to reduce the risk of flooding and are looking for alternative ways to do so. Tomkins says: “The council and the Environment Agency have spent a lot of money [£41 million] on defences over the last few years but you can’t just build higher walls forever. We need more sustainable solutions too. It sort of feels perfect that Christmas trees that would otherwise be cut down can help.”

This way, not only will the recycled Christmas trees help protect the towns from flooding, they’ll also contribute to a more environmental friendly festive industry by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released from thrown out, rotting Christmas spruces.

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Source: The Sunday Times | Image: Pixabay, LloydTheVoid