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CWGC staff help collect Yew clippings for Chemotherapy treatment

18 June 2012

Twelve CWGC sites across South East England, including Brookwood Military Cemetery, are to contribute clippings from their Yew hedges for use in chemotherapy treatment.

The needles are being collected by our staff on behalf of Limehurst Limited, a harvesting company which supplies the drug industry with the raw materials. 

Clipping the Yew trees is a precise operation, as it is only the green areas which contain the useful ingredient, whilst wooded parts can damage machinery. It is also very important to work fast, so as to prevent the leaves "going off".

The treatment in question is of particular use in fighting ovarian and breast cancers. First made from the needles of the European Yew tree, it can now be created synthetically in a laboratory, however the needles are still used as part of the process.

Limehurst Limited will be collecting Yew, even in small quantities, from June until late September 2012.