Markyate schoolboys raise �5,000 for Sandridge forest

SEVENTH form boys at a Markyate school have raised �5,000 towards the creation of Heartwood Forest in Sandridge.

The boys at Beechwood Park School raised over �2,000 last year which was bumped up to ��5,000 this year with a bring and buy sale at the school, a sponsored cycle ride and an art competition.

More than 50 cyclists, including head Patrick Atkinson, took part in the 10-mile cycle ride in March which started and finished in Wheathampstead.

One of the cyclists, Lars Tuinema, completed the cycle ride even though his arm had been broken only a few weeks earlier while the youngest participant at just six years old couldn’t manage the hills on her bike but got off and run while pushing her cycle as she was on a time incentive for her sponsorship.

Twins Luke and Thomas Hopper enlisted the help of form-mates to raise money for Heartwood which will cover more than 850 acres when it is complete.

Said Luke, 11: “Our mother loves wildlife, the outdoors and walking in forests and we have found her enthusiasm infectious.”

Thomas added: “We enlisted the support of friends and staff at school for our campaign to help the Woodland trust plant 600,000 trees in Heartwood, making it the largest new native woodland in England.”

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A week after the cycle ride, the twins and a team of tree-planting friends gathered at the forest where they planted around 300 saplings of oak, ash, willow and poplar.