GREEN-fingered pupils got digging last month as part of an annual environmental project.

Students from 16 schools around Andover got involved in the Andover Trees United Planting Fortnight.

Throughout the last weeks of November 800 children were joined by 50 volunteers to plant 400 trees at Harmony Woods.

The groups were joined by mayor of Test Valley Councillor Ian Carr and his wife Beryl; MP for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse; and borough council leader Councillor Phil North, along with county, borough, town and parish councillors.

Terri Forbes, from the group, said: “Through a working partnership with 25 schools in Andover and surrounding villages, it is our aim for every young person in our community over the 10 years 2012 – 2021 to have planted at least one tree in Harmony Woods.”

The project started in 2012 with pupils and school staff initially planting their trees in their respective school’s nursery beds and look after them until they can be lifted the following winter for planting in the wood during November.

The trees are donated by environmental solutions company Veolia and from donations by Andover residents from their back gardens.

Terri added: “Each year the wood grows a little more as anything between 600 and 1,000 trees are added.

“Building on this, we will work with a core group of schools over the coming years to embed the shared tree planting and creation of community woodland into teaching programmes, offer support to develop Learning In the Natural Environment and develop Harmony Woods as a field study and education centre.”

During this year’s event, children were also invited to add a poppy to an arch made of hazel, as they had done in 2014 to march the end of the First World War and planted a wild cherry tree walk, with each school adding their own tree.

The organisers thanked volunteers for their time during the planting fortnight, saying: “without whom this annual event would not and could not happen”.