More than 1,000 trees have been planted in East Devon this winter as part of the Emergency Tree Fund initiative. 

More than 250,000kg of CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere each year once this woodland is established.

Russell Giblett and Paul Fealey from Streetscene worked with Withycombe Raleigh Primary School, Exeter Road Primary School and Seaton Primary School to plant native broadleaved trees across three East Devon towns.

Andrew Hancock, assistant director for Streetscene, said: “It is fantastic to see school children inspired with tree planting, feeling ownership of a bit of the future and instilling awareness of the climate challenge. All whilst creating a greener East Devon for people, wildlife and the planet.”

These trees will create new areas of woodland, which aim to connect the district’s fragmented habitats, capture carbon, provide homes for wildlife and fight the effects of climate change.

Attention has been paid towards creating locally important woodland types, particularly mixed woodland of oak and birch, to maximise biodiversity.

Operatives from Streetscene worked extremely hard preparing areas for the schools to plant with a variety of native trees important for local wildlife.

Following planting, each of the 70 children received a certificate and adopted a tree to see how it will develop over time.

Nicola Wilson, a teacher from Withycombe Raleigh Primary School in Exmouth said: "The children were certainly enthused walking back to school and loved the idea of adopting their own tree. Please can you pass on a huge thanks from our Headteacher, Duty Head, myself and all the children from today (our Eco Councillors) to everyone collectively involved today - what a team!”

More than 1000 biodegradable tree guards and mulch mats were installed, plus more than 4000 bamboo pegs were hammered in.

The Emergency Tree Fund initiative is headed by The Woodland Trust and Devon County Council.