A village conservation group is appealing for volunteers to join a community tree planting session.

The Upper Clatford Conservation Group will be planting 30 trees along the fenceline of Balksbury Hillford meadow on Saturday, February 10, starting at 10am.

The Hampshire Forestry Partnership is donating the 30 trees as part of the ‘Shoots along the Routes’ initiative.

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The group had explored the possibility of planting along the A303 southern boundary, although this is not possible due to scheduled monument protections on the remaining section of Balksbury Hillfort.

Andover Advertiser: Cllr Richard Bennet at the Balksbury Hill planting areaCllr Richard Bennet at the Balksbury Hill planting area (Image: Cllr Richard Bennet)

Therefore the planting will take place along Balksbury Hillford and will enhance screening of the A303 and enrich biodiversity in the Local Gap.

Reintroducing Elms will restore the countryside to the pre-1970s when Elms flourished in the area before the arrival of Dutch Elm disease.

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A post on The Upper Clatford, Anna Valley & Red Rice Village Facebook page said: "Join us this Saturday (February 10) at 10am for a fulfilling opportunity to give back to our beloved village. Our Conservation Group is seeking volunteers to help plant trees and enhance our natural surroundings.

"By participating, you'll not only make a positive impact on our environment but also have the chance to add valuable community volunteer experience to your university CV. This is a fantastic opportunity for youngsters looking to stand out and showcase their commitment to community service.

"Let's come together to make a difference and create a greener, more vibrant village for generations to come."

Event organiser, Cllr Richard Bennet, said: "We had planned to plant on the Northern side of Balksbury Hill, but because of the remains of the former Bronze Age hill fort, Historic England denied planting permission so we are doing this on the southern side of the carriageway.

"We are planting elms, which is a great opportunity to bring them back after Dutch Elm disease hit the UK in the 1970s. However, a variety of elm has been created which is resistant to the disease, which is hoped to bring them back in numbers to the countryside.

"A huge thanks to Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Forestry partnership for their 'shoots along our routes' scheme, which donated all the trees to us. Also, a big thanks to the landowners for giving us permission to plant the trees.

"We're looking forward to seeing everyone there. It's a great opportunity to get out in the community and help to improve our countryside."

Anyone interested in getting involved can do so by emailing Cllr Richard Bennet at cllrrbennett@upperclatford-pc.gov.uk.