FREEwoods scheme spreads across UK

Schoolgirls have planted one of the first so-called FREEwoods in the UK after signing up to an initiative run by a leading conservation charity.

The scheme encourages local groups to plant broadleaf trees free of charge. It aims to create almost 80ha of new native woodland across the UK by next spring.

The girls from Queen's School in Chester planted the first of 3,500 native broadleaf trees at Wigland Hall, near Malpas, for the project run by the Woodland Trust.

Head teacher Felicity Taylor said: "We are conscious of environmental sustainability and have organised recycling initiatives. We were keen to take part in planting."

Annabel London, a local leading the project, said: "I grew up in this area and we wanted to boost wildlife by planting more trees to leave a legacy for children."

The trust's FREEwoods project manager Peter Leeson said: "We are passionate about increasing native woodland cover to help wildlife prosper and improve quality of life.

"Of the UK's total woodland, only one third is native broadleaf trees, so we are delighted to find partners who share our passion for tree planting."

Deadline for applications for FREEwoods in Yorkshire and Lancashire is the end of December 2008.


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