SCHOOL children have been planting apple trees today (Wednesday, January 29) as part of a scheme to make their community a greener and more pleasant place to live.

Year ten pupils from Sedgefield Community College teamed up with the Sedgefield in Bloom committee and the town mayor, Mel Carr, to plant trees at the disused Winterton Hospital cemetery.

It is hoped the 30 saplings, which include Fiesta, Boskoop, Beauty of Bath, Discovery and James Grieve varieties, will grow into a thriving orchard that will provide residents with an abundance of free fruit.

The project ties in with Sedgefield in Bloom’s quest to improve the local environment, as well as Sedgefield Town Council’s Incredible Edible initiative that encourages people to grow more fruit and vegetables.

Joanne Maher, a teacher at Sedgefield Community College, said the project  was helping to teach youngsters important life skills.

“The pupils are outside and helping others within the community,” she said.

“They are also making a positive difference to their environment and this helps create a sense of pride and respect.”

Last November, Durham County Council awarded Sedgefield in Bloom £450 to buy the trees, as part of National Tree Week, a national celebration to mark the start of the winter tree-planting season.

Up to one million trees are planted each year as a result of the campaign.