Environmentally-friendly community champions have designs for a greener future with hundreds of new trees set to be planted in a South Tyneside park.
More than 200 trees will be planted at Temple Memorial Park, thanks to the Friends of West Park group in South Shields, which successfully bid for 420 from the Woodland Trust. The Friends group has retained half for planting within West Park with the remainder donated for Temple Park grounds.
The free native saplings include a mix of hawthorn, hazel, crab apple, downy birch, holly and goat willow and will help to enhance the existing woodland at Temple Memorial Park.
Councillor Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "Trees are an integral part of the visual landscape not to mention the many benefits they bring to environment, from improving air quality to reducing the risk of flooding.
"These news trees will help to boost the tree population in the wooded areas at Temple Memorial Park while also helping us to create the right conditions for wildlife to continue to thrive."
The free new trees have been welcomed by the Temple Memorial Park Volunteer Rangers, who dedicate their free time to help look after the area and hold regular community walks and litter picks as well as planting activities.
Bonita Nesbitt, of the Temple Memorial Park Volunteer Rangers, said: "It's great news we will have new trees for planting across the area.
"We are keen to help maintain Temple Memorial Park as an open green space for local people to enjoy and are particularly looking forward to working with the local community to help plant the saplings and create new wildlife habitats. Our team of enthusiastic Young Rangers are really excited to get involved."
The Temple Memorial Park Volunteer Rangers were joined by local Cleadon Park councillors and the Council's Greenspace team to discuss potential locations for future planting activities.
Speaking on behalf of the Cleadon Park ward members, Councillor Susan Traynor said: "We are very grateful to the Friends of West Park for the trees and are working closely with the Greenspace Team and the community to identify where best to plant them so that they will work well with existing species.
"The Temple Memorial Park Volunteer Rangers are a dedicated group of volunteers and it's fantastic to have their support with this. They give up their free time to help keep the area clean and tidy so that people can continue to enjoy it for years to come."