A CYCLING charity has taken an unusual approach to giving it's workplace a festive feel.

That's because volunteers at Re-Cycle's Colchester warehouse have built an eight foot tall Christmas tree made out of scrap bicycle parts.

The tree is now sitting in reception at the charity's Wormingford warehouse where it's welcoming visitors.

Vince Langdon-Morris, the charity's managing director, explained why they decided to build the tree.

He said: "We get all sorts of used bikes and a small percentage are just not suitable to ship.

"Some bikes can be refurbished and sold, for example, to students at the University of Essex to raises vital funds for our ongoing operations.

"But many rejected bikes are stripped down for parts which we plug into the remaining gaps in our Africa bound containers.

"We produce very little waste, but the waste that does remain - why not make a Christmas tree out it?

"It provides a tangible symbol that everything can be re-used."

Re~Cycle is a Colchester based charity which sends used bikes, many supplied through Halfords, to African charities.

Sam, a volunteer at the charity and the person behind the creation of the bicycle tree said: "It took us some time to make but we are really pleased with it."

Since the charity started-up in 1997 it has given tens of thousands of women, men and children affordable and reliable transport.

And as well as providing bikes, the charity also gives a day of maintenance training to new owners so their bikes stand the test of time.

Volunteers at the charity do jobs which include loading containers, preparing bikes for shipping and dismantling damaged bikes for spare parts.

Mark Pamment, the warehouse manager, said: "The participation and invaluable support received from our volunteers has really enriched our workplace.

"It has also provided them with hands-on work experience which results in a new found sense of confidence, purpose and self-esteem."

For more information about Re-Cycle visit www.re-cycle.org