CHILDREN from a Billericay school planted five fruit trees in a community forest this morning.
The trees were planted at the Crays Hill recreation ground as part of a plan to created the largest new woodland in Billericay since the 1980s.
The woodland will consist of nearly 2,000 native trees and shrubs, including oak, hazel and field maple trees.
The land is owned by Basildon Council and deputy council leader Kevin Blake said the authority was ’delighted’ to support the scheme.
A large pond will be dug at the end of March and there is also a planned wildflower meadow.
Youngsters at Crays Hill Primary School had been asked to name the woodland and dubbed it The Forest of Life.
Pupils from the school joined volunteers from the Essex Wildlife Trust at the site today to plant five trees in the orchard section of the woodland.
The new woodland, which cost around £6,000, is being funded by the Woodland Trust and the Veolia Environmental Trust. It is part of the Living Landscapes project run by Essex Wildlife Trust, which aims to ’restore, reconnect and recreate wildlife rich areas in rural and urban areas’.
Essex Wildlife Trust volunteer Nathan Hume said: “The habitats created here will be like a magnet to all manner of wildlife and the trees will also provide oxygen, improve air quality and conserve water and soil.
“The project is a part of many other successful environmental improvements carried out by Essex Wildlife Trust volunteers over the past five years.
“Basildon Council have been fantastic and without their continuous support this project just simply wouldn’t have been possible.
“I would also like to thank Veolia Environmental Trust and the Woodland Trust for the funding we needed to undertake this project.”