Thousands of Christmas trees made homeless just a few days into the new year are still sleeping rough on pavements. The shocking fact is that it’s mostly the middle class who put them there – the same people who step over them with hardly a second glance as they go to and from their places of work.
Normally, council workers would have been round to ‘sanitize the neighbourhood’ – that’s gov-speak to mean take these discarded and unwanted items off the streets – but many local authorities squeezed by Tory cutbacks have instead decided to let the trees rot on the pavements.
We spoke to one tree in a leafy part of the affluent Wandsworth borough. It was a pitiful sight, dressed in just one bauble, needles dropping where it lay. The tree did not reply. Too traumatised, perhaps, to comment on its own frightening and hopeless predicament.
Sadly there’s no helpline you can call, but if you come across a sad, homeless tree on the pavement outside a house near where you live, there is something else you can do. Pick the tree up carefully by its top. Drag it up to the front door. Gently open the letter box, and stuff the tree as far into the letter box as it will go. It may sound cruel, but it’s the right thing to do.