VOLUNTEERS have teamed up with a garden centre to plant hundreds of trees in a York park.

The group from The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) are in Rawcliffe Country Park this week putting 800 saplings into a new copse.

The trees – a mixture of hazel, field maple, wild cherry, willow, rowan and crab apple – have been donated by local firm Johnsons, of Whixley.

They are being planted on a rough area near the park’s Shipton Road boundary as part of the Treemendous project, which was launched in 2011.

Johnson’s director John Richardson said: “As one of the bigger suppliers of trees in the UK, we’re delighted to help enhance this natural and recreational area with trees that are of native origin and are indigenous to the area.”

Coun Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “We’re very grateful to the TCV and Johnsons for their generous donations of planting expertise and trees.

“They’ll be planting a little-used area of rough grassland at the country park’s perimeter adjacent to Shipton Road with a beautiful mix of species.

“Being saplings planted in winter, they should start to grow steadily when spring arrives, eventually maturing into an attractive flowering and fruiting copse between the highway and park as well as providing valuable cover and food for wildlife.”

Last year Treemendous was shortlisted in The Press Community Pride awards for its achievement planting 3,600 trees in just two years.

The 800 trees in Rawcliffe will take the total to more than 4,000 in the three years since the project began.

Originally the scheme had a three-year deadline but has since been extended after organisers realised the target of 50,000 trees was unrealistic for such a short time, chairman Philip Crowe said.

The new approach is paying off as 20 more sites for tree planting are in the pipeline, he added.

“Add to that the tree planting by the University of York at its new campus and York’s landscape is getter greener all the while,” Mr Crowe said.