HUNDREDS of youngsters recently teamed up with the Englefield Estate to plant over 1,000 new trees, with the aim of creating fresh habitats for wildlife and helping tackle climate change.

The events, which took place throughout National Tree Week, were organised by Englefield Estate forestry manager Richard Edwards.

Some 400 young people joined in and planted 1,300 new trees in Estate woodlands in West Berkshire and Hampshire.

Richard said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome so many young people to the Estate and to help them understand more about trees and the work we do here.

“Forests provide much more than timber: they are also a place for people to visit and enjoy and, more importantly, create a rich habitat for flora and fauna. Trees are also invaluable for their role in carbon sequestration – as they grow they absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.

“Trees can also improve air quality by trapping pollutants, and they can prevent flooding and stabilise the soil around them.”

A variety of native broadleaf trees including oak, rowan and wild cherry were planted, as well as faster-growing conifers such as Douglas fir and western red cedar.

Among those taking part were pupils from Silchester Primary School. Louise Webb, deputy headteacher, said: “As a school we are committed to helping pupils develop an understanding of how we can help look after our environment, and to learn to love, appreciate and respect nature and all living things.

“The children had a great time getting involved with National Tree Week at the Englefield Estate. They helped to plant more than 350 conifers, chosen to create a resilient woodland to help to attract a diverse range of species.

“Richard Edwards from the estate explained how trees help tackle climate change and provide homes for a wide variety of wildlife. As well as really enjoying their afternoon, the children learnt a lot about the environment close to home.”

Also taking part were Bradfield & District Young Farmers Club who carried out their planting as part of the Woodland Trust’s ‘Protect your future’ scheme, as well as Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts from 1st Ufton Nervet and 1st Burghfield and Sulhampstead Scout groups.

Richard added: “It was a pleasure to help so many enthusiastic youngsters learn hands-on about forests and the many ways trees help people and the planet.”