BLACKBURN children and community groups have been busy planting trees in the town's Queens Park and Corporation Park.

Their activity follows Blackburn with Darwen Council publishing its Tree and Woodland Strategy - an ambitious plan to protect, maintain, improve and expand the borough’s trees, hedgerows and woodlands.

It uses cash from Lancashire County Council Treescapes team, who won £300,000 from the Coronation Living Heritage Fund to support the development of micro-woods and community orchards in Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool to commemorate the King’s Coronation.

In March, 30 children from Shadsworth Junior School and Audley Junior School worked with the Blackburn with Darwen parks team and Lancashire County Council's tree and ecology teams to plant 850 trees and shrubs in a new micro-wood in Queens Park.

A micro-wood or ‘Miyawaki’ wood is a new method of creating a fast growing, miniature forest in urban environments.

One student from Audley Junior School said: "With determination, we managed to plant two and some of us even three trees per square, arranging them neatly in rows.

"As we made our way home, a sense of pride filled us, knowing that we had planted a remarkable total of 42 trees – contributing to our environment."

Two weeks later further planting took place in Corporation Park in the form of a community orchard – known as the Corporation Park Friends Orchard.

The Corporation Park Supporters Group, Blackburn with Darwen Council Parks team and Lancashire County Council officers came together to plant 18 apple, pear, damson, gage and cherry trees just off the Broad Walk.

It should start producing fruit in three years’ time.

Cllr Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council's environment boss, said: "There are so many advantages to planting trees in the borough, not only do they attract a wider variety of biodiversity, but they also contribute to our responsibilities in reducing our impact on the climate.

"We are very lucky to live in such a green borough and being able to get the community involved is a huge plus. I’m grateful to everyone who has helped plant trees so far."