Final trees planted in decade long forest project
PUBLISHED: 16:06 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 22 March 2018
Danny Loo Photography 2018
The final trees in a new forest, which is set to be England's biggest new native woodland, have now been planted.
During the course of ten years about 45,000 volunteers from across Hertfordshire have been involved in planting Heartwood Forest in Sandridge as part of a project run by the Woodland Trust.
There are now 600,000 new trees at the site, which sit alongside ancient woodland, new wildflower meadows, walking trials, and a community orchard.
Last week students from Sandringham School went to plant the final saplings and make a pledge for each seed, including some in memory of lost loved ones or to represent their education.
Two sixth form students involved in the finale had been the first children to plant a tree at the start of the project.
The pupils met with chair of the Woodland Trust Baroness Barbara Young, and cabinet member for education at Herts county council, Cllr Terry Douris.
Sandringham headteacher Alan Gray said: “It’s fantastic to see so many of our pupils getting involved in such a worthwhile project.
“Not only does this teach them about the environment, but in today’s society where everything they want can be attained at the touch of a button through a smart phone, it also teaches them that waiting a little longer to see a project through to fruition can be so rewarding.”
He hopes the students will one day enjoy Heartwood with their families.
The planting session coincided with British Science Week, and Sandringham’s theme for the week for sustainability.
Cllr Douris said: “I really enjoyed meeting the pupils and teachers from Sandringham School involved in this fantastic project. Not only is the finishing of this forest great news for those volunteers who have been involved for the last ten years, it is also a fantastic asset for Hertfordshire that will hopefully attract new visitors to the area and will be enjoyed by generations for years to come.”
Heartwood is home to an abundance of bluebells in the spring, which are particularly popular with walkers. The new forest will be officially opened on March 25.