A PROJECT dedicated to rebuilding nature has hosted its first tree planting event, welcoming 100 new trees to the town’s woodlands.

Darlington Forest Project has hosted its first tree planting event, with 19 residents bracing the chill to plant 100 trees, mostly willows, and an assortment of one-metre saplings.

Roz Henderson, who coordinated the event, said: “Our first planting event went extremely well. We had a good turnout of tree planters and the weather was kind.”

Tackling the climate emergency with tree planting

Ms Henderson co-founded the project after experiencing climate anxiety.

She said: “I was feeling anxious about the climate emergency due to the media coverage I'd seen. I decided if I was worried, then I should do something about it.”

Last month the accountant went from full-time to part-time to work on Darlington Forest Project.

“The youngest person in my family is my five-year-old great-niece who lives in Darlington. I want to make sure that the town she and her own family grow up in is better than it is today," she said.

“The way things are going, that won't happen. We are facing a climate emergency with the planet's temperature rising. We have wiped out an estimated 60 per cent of the UK's most important wildlife since 1970. We must turn this around or what will future generations be faced with?”

Funded by private donations, they will start applying for grants for larger projects once planting season is over.

“The more funding we receive, the more trees we can plant,” Ms Henderson said.

What will future generations be faced with?

The project is also working with schools to help educate children and create green spaces.

Children at Corporation Road School will soon have an apple tasting assembly where they will choose what apple trees to plant on the school grounds.

Head teacher Mrs Pringleton said: “These kids live in a concrete jungle. They don’t know anything about wildlife or birds or seeds.We could take them to the park but we would have to do risk assessments and go checking for needles. I decided I wanted a forest in my school. Darlington Forest Project got in touch with me and I said absolutely.

“There are a lot of great things happening in Darlington so it’s just about harnessing it. I want to give my kids something this don’t have; give them nature.”

There are more than 300 people on Darlington Forest Project’s Facebook group, with more “people joining every day”. The group hosts an online tree surgery on the first of every month, with an arboriculturist aiming to answer questions.