YOUNG pupils helped to plant a new woodland in their school’s grounds as part of a national tree planting drive.
Three classes from Haydock English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School joined forces to help plant willows and hazels in the grounds of their Piele Road school.
The youngsters also dug large pits to accommodate the roots of five young oak trees and Scots pines.
In future, the willows and hazels will be coppiced and used for weaving projects.
Headteacher Karen Prescott said: “It was a wonderful experience for the children, as well as a great way to teach them to love the environment.
“They kept telling us how much they loved it, as well as asking whether there were any more trees to plant!”
The project was all part of the national Big Tree Plant campaign, which is aimed at getting more people to plant and care for trees.
Regionally, more than £250,000 has been set aside to support tree planting in the next four years.
But the local funding was secured by The Mersey Forest group, who are using the cash to help schools and community groups plant new trees, woodlands and mini-orchards.
Incredibly, more than 1,000 trees will be planted across St Helens this winter.
And The Mersey Forest has already donated several black poplar trees to be nurtured in their tree nursery at Griffin Wood, off Gorsey Lane, Clock Face.
Helen Collins, of The Mersey Forest, hailed the commitment of the Haydock English Martyrs’ Primary School pupils.
She said: “It was great to see the students getting involved. They worked for more than an hour to dig the pits for the bigger trees, and got covered in mud - but weren’t discouraged at all. They seemed to love it!
“And they will be the ones enjoying the outcome of all of this hard work – a great new woodland.”
The project to create the school’s new woodland was co-funded by The Woodland Trust through their MOREwoods project and by the St Helens Landscape Fund, with help from United Utilities.