Get involved in tree planting

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts may be interested in getting involved with a new Woodland Trust effort to create the UKs largest man-made forest.

Stretching across 850 acres of Hertfordshires green belt land, the aim is to reconnect three existing pockets of ancient bluebell woods, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) revealed.

More than 20,000 trees have been planted so far – most of which were done in just one hour as scouts, army cadets and other volunteers embarked on a frenzied planting session in an attempt to break a world record as part of the Tree OClock Challenge.

The aim is to have the first 90,000 saplings in the ground by March, with planting sessions organised for the first three months of 2010.

It is hoped that the new Heartwood Forest will attract walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and conservationists with its mix of native broadleaf varieties, which include oak, field maple, goat willow and wild cherry.

Meanwhile, the RHS has revealed that French gardening legend Princess Greta Sturdza has died at the age of 94.