THE Christmas trees have only just gone up, but members of one Ledbury group are already counting the days until the decorations come down and they can get busy again, for what is by now a long-standing local tradition.

Once more, Ledbury Scouts will be carrying out their annual fund-raising Christmas tree collection in the New Year.

And at a time when most Ledbury people are saying farewell to the festive season and looking forward to the New Year, the service provided to the community by local Scouts is always very welcome one indeed, and it's even environmentally friendly.

Last year was a record year for Ledbury’s Western Explorer Scouts, who collected real Christmas trees at the end of Christmas, as a fund-raising venture.

More than 100 trees were collected for a fee and over £500 was raised, which was £160 up on the 2015 total. The total is all the more remarkable, given that only eleven scouts were involved with the collection, alongside adult scout leaders.

Organisers are hoping for another successful collection in the New Year, and the details and dates have just been announced.

Scout group spokesman, Robert Scholefield said: "On Saturday January 6, leave the tree outside with a £4 fee and it will be collected and disposed of.

Proceeds from the collection will go towards supporting scouting activities for almost 100 youngsters in Ledbury.

"We will collect Christmas trees from the Ledbury and Wellington Heath area. If you would like your tree collected please contact or leave a message on 07876 258948."

The money raised goes towards scout funds and activities. The trees are turned into mulch for recycling.