Merrist Wood College supports Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for a second year in Heartwarming Festive Fundraiser

Merrist Wood College and University Centre is delighted to once again support the team from Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for the second year of their annual Christmas Tree Collection and Recycling Service. This is a great fundraising activity for such a valuable local charity and a collaboration we are proud to be a part of. 

Following on from last year’s fantastic launch success, a total of 650 Christmas trees were collected from homes across the GU and TW postcodes – 450 of which were delivered to Merrist Wood College raising a whopping over £16,000 for the charity and beating last year’s total by nearly £10,000!

Merrist Wood Arboriculture and Landscaping apprentices

Over the past couple of weeks, an enthusiastic group of students received van loads of trees from local homes who had made a donation to the charity, all delivered by volunteer drivers from partner organisations, Sky, Amazon and Kier.

A keen team of second year Level 3 Arboriculture full time students and Arboriculture apprentices wasted no time in gaining loads of valuable practical experience by learning how to operate and feed each tree through the college’s large chipper.

450 Christmas trees were chipped by our Arborist apprentices!


The activity also provided our apprentices with the opportunity to gain an extra qualification and we are proud to report that a total of 11 first year Arboriculture apprentices completed the training and integrated assessment for City & Guilds NPTC Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Manually Fed Wood-chipper!

Our friends from Makita were also on hand with their machinery to give our Arboriculture and Landscaping apprentices some valuable chainsaw handling experience as well as giving the students some vital industry knowledge and support throughout the event.

Makita were on hand to give students some valuable hands on experience with machinery

Aligning perfectly with our core sustainability ethos, the resulting huge pile of chippings will now sit for a few months, giving it time to break down, before heading up to the college’s pinetum where it will be spread around the base of pine and conifer trees to act as a protective layer.

Richard Cant, Faculty Manager of Arboriculture, Landscaping and Horticulture at Merrist Wood College and University Centre said: “This entire collaborative project fostered some valuable key learning for our students and apprentices as well as imparting a genuine sense of purpose and community connection.

“We are proud to partner with this much-loved local charity who provide such an important service to the community, and we very much look forward to being involved again for the Christmas 2024 appeal.”

Learn more about apprenticeships at Merrist Wood College and University Centre here https://bit.ly/3UdprRo