TWO thousand trees are to be planted in Darwen to boost the environment.

The Woodland Trust has enlisted help from local schools and scouts to plant the trees in the 40 hectare site in Polyphemus Wood, between Eccleshill and the Chapels.

Yesterday, pupils from Sudell Primary School, Darwen, and St Paul's CofE Primary, Darwen, began planting native broad-leaved trees.

Schools from Accrington and Blackburn and scouts from Ribchester, Turton, Pendle, Ormskirk and Lancaster will also help plant the 2,000 trees by Friday.

The Scout movement became involved in the national planting initiative to celebrate its centenary and gave £200,000 to the Woodland Trust.

It was awarded to the Scouts by the Veolia Environmental Trust, which gives grants under the Landfill Communities Fund to community and environmental projects.

The tree-planting initiative is part of the Woodland Trust's Tree For All' campaign, the biggest children's tree-planting operation aiming to involve one million children in planting 12 million trees across the UK. The wood is one of 27 woods being created across the country by the Trust.

Andy Beer, head of campaign development for the Woodland Trust, said: "Tree For All' is a call to action in a time when the protection and planting of new woodland is becoming increasingly important as our natural world comes under siege."

Celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock is also supporting Tree For All'. She said: "Children I meet everywhere I go are really enthusiastic when I talk to them about nature and wildlife. Tree For All' is a wonderful way to get children outdoors and involved in growing."

Polyphemus Wood was named after one of 33 vessels Admiral Nelson's victorious fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar and in honour of the 631 Lancashire sailors who served alongside Nelson.