A north-east woman is on the lookout for old Christmas trees – so she can feed them to her herd of goats.
Sarah Pumfrett, 47, from Oldmeldrum is looking to pick up any real Christmas trees that may be going spare after the festive season.
Sarah, who also owns several rare-breed horses, has been driving around the north-east picking up any discarded pines people have no use for.
She said her 18 goats love the trees, which they strip bare before eating the nutritious needles.
Sarah said: “They absolutely love them.
“As soon as they see the trailer pulling into the yard with trees, they get really excited. It’s phenomenal.
“They’re like children in a sweet shop the way that they attack them.
“It’s the nutrients in the bark that they love so much, because trees can pick up some trace minerals from the ground that grass and other things can’t.”
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Specialising in rare breeds, Sarah chose to get bagot goats – one of the rarest in the UK with only around 200 left in the country – in a bid to clear weeds from her fields.
Sarah has been caring for rare breeds for more than 20 years, in a bid to preserve them for the future.
She is on the hunt for real trees that have been used over the Christmas period, but that haven’t been sprayed with anything such as fake snow or artificial pine scents.
Trees that have been kept close to kitchens will also not be accepted, because of the chance of contamination with food, which could cause an outbreak of foot and mouth.
For Sarah, asking for the trees was an easy decision, especially as there is currently a hay shortage.
She said: “There’s a huge waste of trees around this time of year, it seems criminal – especially this year when fodder is in such short supply, because a lot of the silage and hay has already been used.”
This is the third year Sarah has recycled trees and she has been kept busy trailing across the north-east picking up trees from people.
She said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic, I’ve even had some of the village trees that have been standing out in the squares. They’re fantastic because they’re usually quite green.
“It’s been a great response from the local community.”
Despite the fact the goats don’t eat the wood of the trees, Sarah manages to find a use for it, whether it be for kindling for her wood burner, or passing it on to a lady in the village who makes wooden children’s toys.
She said: “Every part of the trees I get is used in some way.
“The things I can’t burn, I put out the back to rot for the insects. It all gets used one way or another.”