YOUNG people from across North Devon will be taking part in national tree planting initiatives, thanks to the Woodland Trust. The Trust's free hedge and copse packs come from the Trust's Tree For All campaign, the largest children's tree planting ini

YOUNG people from across North Devon will be taking part in national tree planting initiatives, thanks to the Woodland Trust. The Trust's free hedge and copse packs come from the Trust's Tree For All campaign, the largest children's tree planting initiative in the UK. It will enable thousands of schools, scouts, guides and youth groups across the UK to take part in tree planting activities over the next month. Paul Bunton of the Woodland Trust said: "Since the 1930s, half of the UK's ancient woods have been felled or damaged and 118,000 miles of hedgerow destroyed in the wake of agricultural development. Our hedge and copse initiative attempts to redress the balance by planting new hedgerows and copses. "Because of modern lifestyles many children grow up with little connection with the natural environment. We want to encourage young people to have contact with nature, increase their understanding and enjoyment of woodland and send out the message that we need to conserve the hedgerows and woods we have left and replace the ones we have destroyed." Since the launch of the Trust's hedge and copse scheme in 2004, children in Devon have contributed to the reinstatement of 128 miles of hedgerows in the UK, which equates to the same distance from London to Birmingham. This season the packs will enable more than 4,590 to be planted across Devon contributing to a total of 225,000 across the UK. The packs have reached as far as Orkney and the Shetlands, some of the most northern places in the UK to the Isle of Wight one of the most southern. The young tree-planters will create havens for wildlife and woodland areas for future generations to enjoy in their school grounds or local communities, safeguarding our native trees, hedgerows and create lasting woodland legacies. The planting of a hedge or copse will attract wildlife and give schools "living classrooms" which pupils can enjoy for years to come. Each hedge and copse pack has instructions on how to plant the saplings and worksheets about the various species. Tree planting and wildlife study can also contribute to the National Curriculum's Key Stage 2 in science, numeracy, literacy and art and design. So far the Woodland Trust's 'Tree For All' campaign has planted more than 5.4 million trees across the UK involving more than 1,200,000 people, that's enough people to fill the new Wembley Stadium 13 times over. Approximately 21,000 schools, 850 community groups and 150 major partners have been involved with over 2,500 hectares (6177 acres) of new woodland created so far, the equivalent size of over 3000 football pitches. There is still a way to go to reach the target of planting 12 million trees - one tree for every child under 16 - so it's by no means too late to get involved in helping to create new native woodland. Schools and groups can find out how they can get involved in 'Tree For All' next spring by visiting, http://www.woodland-trust.org.uk/hedge/