HUNDREDS of children helped a forestry group plant a new forest during National Tree Week.

Over two weeks, Andover Trees United got help from children at 22 local primary schools, planting hundreds of trees north of Andover.

The planting of Harmony Woods is part of a 10-year project to grow a new woodland in the area.

Alex Marshall, from Andover Trees United, said: “The children were full of energy and enthusiasm. Not even the rain could dampen their spirits: as one Portway Junior School teacher said, ‘They were buzzing!’.

“Our fantastic team of regular volunteers started setting up at 8am each day, with most of them working through for the next seven hours. The group includes workers from the Co-Op depot, Abel and Cole, the Army, and students.”

Other visitors included mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Martin Hatley, and the Woodland Trust’s director of woodland creation, John Tucker.

Borough Council leader Councillor Phil North attended, saying: “It was great to join pupils helping plant the next section of woodland between Augusta Park and Enham Alamein.”

“Planting trees is important for biodiversity, and it is absolutely vital in tackling climate change.”

The group also held a day for members of the public to plant trees, adding: “We had families and participants of all ages show up. It was wonderful to see so many people working together.”

At the end of the two weeks, 600 native trees were planted, with hundreds more saved for next year.

During the week, the group were shown on TV show Chris Packham: Plant a Tree, Save the World. The Channel 5 show filmed with the group near the start of the month, with volunteers saying they enjoyed the filming.

Other schools involved were Balksbury junior and infant schools, Anton Junior School, Vigo Primary, Rookwood, Endeavour School, Roman Way Primary, Andover CofE Primary School, Normangate School, Wolverdene Special School, Appleshaw St Peter’s School, Winton Community Academy, The Mark Way School, John Hanson Community School, Andover College, Abbotts Ann C. of E. Primary School, Harrow Way Community School, Smannell and Enham CofE Primary, Vernham Dean Gillum’s Cof E, Wherwell Primary School and Hatherden CofE School.