GREEN-FINGERED youngsters and their families helped launch the first community tree planting at Great Notley Country Park.

More than 300 residents helped plant 150 trees in just 36 minutes as part of the scheme, which aims to improve the local environment and help tackle climate change.

The free tree planting event follows the launch of the Essex Forest Initiative at Great Notley Country Park before Christmas.

The initiative is park of Essex County Council’s commitment to tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions by planting 375,000 trees over the next five years.

Council environment and climate change action boss Simon Walsh said: “Tackling climate change is everyone’s responsibility and it was fantastic to see so many people of all ages ready and willing to help us with our tree planting efforts, before the end of the planting season next month.”

Mr Walsh added: “We were overwhelmed by the response we saw – so much so that we ran out of trees to plant.”

“Clearly tackling climate change is at the forefront of the people’s minds and I look forward to many more community planting events in the future as residents help us to create the Essex Forest.”