SCHOOL children in York are helping with a major project to plant 1,000 new trees at one of the city's best-known business parks.

Copmanthorpe Primary School pupils have grown 200 oak saplings, which will be among the 1,000 trees of various species to be planted at Northminster Business Park on the outskirts of York this autumn, to aid biodiversity, provide screening, enhance air quality and improve the landscaped area for businesses and visitors.

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George Burgess, managing director of property company, Northminster Ltd, which owns the 32-acre business park, donated £500 to the school to cover the cost of compost and plant pots with the challenge for the 331 pupils to grow as many trees as possible.

Copmanthorpe head Jenny Rogers, said: “Many of the the oak saplings were grown in school and others by families at home from their own collected acorns. One child, now in Year 6, managed to successfully germinate over 80 acorns with the help of her grandparents.

“It is great that so many children are involved. They learn about plants from our nursery and reception classes to the older groups in their science curriculum.

"Our classes are all named after trees in our own extensive grounds, from Little Conkers and Little Acorns as our nursery classes, up to Oak and Chestnut for our two Year 6 classes, so it has been really great for them to collect their own acorns and watch the first year's growth.

“As the saplings will be planted on the business park’s boundary, our pupils who have taken part will be able to visit their growing oak trees and watch their progress for years."

The remainder of the Northminster donation will go towards improving the school’s outdoor wildlife area, including repairing a bridge across the pond.

George Burgess said: “Knowing that Companthorpe School’s classes are largely themed around trees, last autumn we invited the pupils to help us by growing saplings from seed, as part of their education, for the latest phase of planting in our highly landscaped park.

“We are delighted at how Mrs. Rogers and all the pupils have responded and hope that the mature trees which grow from their saplings will be there for them to see decades from now.”

Northminster Business Park, which was acquired in 1995, has been developed as the base for more than 50 companies employing over 1,000 people, including Unilabs, DPD, McCarthy & Stone, Pavers, IQ Engineering, PPS and Torque Law, in diverse premises including offices, laboratories, research and development facilities, warehouses, and distribution and industrial units.