VOLUNTEERS turned out in their hundreds to plant community woodlands and help battle climate change.

Community groups Low Carbon Oxford North and Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon were each joined by more than 100 people, for their respective tree-planting sessions during National Tree Week.

More than 2,000 trees were introduced in Oxford during the event at the end of November, with volunteers planting species including oak, hazel, silver birch, sweet cherry, viburnum and whitebeam.

Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park is now home to 500 extra trees thanks to their efforts, while 600 were lowered into the soil at Rose Hill Recreation Ground, and almost 700 at Croft Road Recreation Ground in Marston.

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Michael Woods, Oxford City Council's green space development officer, said: "The level of community support for these activities is great to see, providing not only environmental benefit but also a positive experience for local people to work together, interact, and catch up.

"The cohesion you witness at these days is a fantastic example of the benefits green space provides for both our physical and mental health and wellbeing.

"We thank the community, as without their input these projects would not be possible."

Plantings were run in partnership with Oxford Direct Services, which supplied the sapling trees and oversaw the sessions, the International Tree Foundation and the Woodland Trust, which provided funding.

Alison Hill, chairwoman of Low Carbon Oxford North, said she was 'thrilled' by the turnout at Cutteslowe on November 30.

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She added: "These trees will not only absorb carbon, they will provide clean air, help fight flooding, and support local wildlife.

"We look forward to seeing the new woodland grow and flourish over the coming years.

"Five hundred trees may be a small step but we are part of something much bigger, as more and more of us – from schoolchildren to pensioners – wake up to the climate emergency and decide to take action."

Katharine Owen, who organised the Rose Hill event with Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon on the same day, said the community woodland was planted by people of all ages.

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She added: "Thank you to all the people who turned up and helped in this exciting project.

"We now need help to maintain the trees over the next few years by weeding, mulching and pruning so that the trees can flourish."

The group was particularly grateful for the support of Rose Hill's Nepalese community, who were keen to help out, and to GoodGym Oxford, whose team helped to lug about heavy bags of mulch.

The planting sessions were part of a wider campaign run by Oxfordshire Trees for the Future, an organisation working with Oxford Friends of the Earth to double Oxfordshire's tree cover.

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Croft Road in Marston and Ruskin College in Headington were the other main planting sites.

Alistair Morris from Marston, who helped to arrange the former, also turned out to the Rose Hill event armed with 50 extra saplings.

He said he hoped the tree planting would lead to more council initiatives in the future as 'climate change is the number one concern of many Oxford residents'.

About 200 people turned out at the Marston event, to create a community woodland of almost 700 trees.

Mr Morris, treasurer of Marston Community Gardening group, said: "It was just unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it.

"We are very concerned about the current climate crisis and want to do our utmost to mitigate climate change."