Hundreds of trees to be planted at schools in Market Harborough

Bruce Durham - Chair of Harborough Woodland.Bruce Durham - Chair of Harborough Woodland.
Bruce Durham - Chair of Harborough Woodland.
Hundreds of trees are going to be planted at schools in Market Harborough as over 11,000 are given to 59 schools and community groups across Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

The high-intensity effort is going ahead as the Woodland Trust sets out to plant an incredible 50 million trees throughout the UK over the next five years to combat climate change and transform the countryside.

Market Harborough C of E Academy on Fairfield Road is being handed 420 trees for its grounds.

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Welland Park Academy on Welland Park Road in Market Harborough is receiving 15 trees while some 420 will be planted around the playing fields in the village of Naseby.

The ambitious scheme is going ahead as local eco group Harborough Woodland is urgently seeking volunteers to help create community woodlands to boost the environment and enhance people’s wellbeing.

Launched in February 2020, fast-growing Harborough Woodland is setting out to increase the number of trees across the district from the very low tree cover of three per cent.

The Woodland Trust highlights that only 13 per cent of the UK’s land area is covered by trees compared to a much higher average of 37 per cent in Europe.

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Some counties such as Berkshire and Surrey have 15 to 25 per cent tree cover.

Trees are vital to help defeat climate change, soaking up carbon created from burning fossil fuels.

Research has also shown that spending time in forests markedly improves mental and physical health.

Bruce Durham, the chair of Harborough Woodland, said: “Our volunteers have already proved in just eight months that there is a huge desire in the community to get on with something really worthwhile.

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“We have built up trust and befriended councils and key stakeholders and attracted talented and enthusiastic volunteers through our website and Harborough Woodland Community Volunteers Facebook group.

“Volunteers are absolutely vital to achieving our large-scale ambitions as we don’t have any employees.”

The dedicated eco-campaigner added: “We know that people are pushed for time.

“That’s why our approach is flexible and informal.

“We want you to enjoy volunteering with us, when you can, whether that’s once a week, once a month or once a year.

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“You don’t have to have any knowledge of land management, rivers or trees to get involved, just be passionately keen to be part of the driving force for change within in our area.”

Bruce said that Harborough Woodland want to use nature as a mental health therapy, slash flooding through natural flood management and plant more trees to benefit busy landowners and schools.

“We especially need volunteers interested in eco-schools and protecting street trees, as well as youth community champions,” he said.

Volunteer Michelle Clark, who has been supporting Harborough Woodland, said: “The growing enquiries for trees and wood to reduce flash flooding is really exciting.

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“These are long term and large schemes which will help our communities.”

You can find out more information about volunteering with Harborough Woodland at or you can email [email protected]

Harborough Woodland Volunteer Facebook group already boasts over 250 members and supporters.