Seeing the wood for the trees

COMMUNITIES are being encouraged to follow the example of a Northumberland village to boost their green spaces.

The Woodland Trust is trying to enlist as many people as it can to join its Jubilee Woods project, which aims to plant six million trees across the UK by the end of 2012, creating hundreds of new woodlands.

And as part of the campaign to show what can be achieved, people are being directed to look at Paddock Wood in Longhirst.

Ten years ago the site was bare, but now young saplings planted by the community have grown to above head height.

They provide 14 acres of new native woodland for people and wildlife to enjoy.

Head of Jubilee Woods Georgina McLeod said: “Trees bring so many different benefits to local people and wildlife and I’d encourage everyone across Northumberland to visit their nearest wood to see what can be achieved.

“We need people to follow in the footsteps of these millennium planters and help us increase woodland cover.”

Research has shown that access to natural green spaces can improve people’s health and well-being and social cohesion.

The trust is offering free tree packs to community groups and schools, as well as working with businesses and landowners to identify where woods can be created.

Ms McLeod said: “Since last spring, thousands of trees have been planted by schools and communities across Northumberland, but we know that we can better that figure over the next 18 months for our Jubilee project.

“Creating new woods across the county will have so many benefits for local communities, will create a lasting legacy for future generations and is a great way to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at the same time.”

For further information, to apply for free tree packs or to make a donation, visit www.moretreesmoregood.org.uk/jubilee or call 08452 935689.