Children mark start of country park for Portsmouth

DIGGING IN From left, Happi Singh-Digpal, Mary Beech), Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas, Lacey Drinkwater and Joe Bartlett planting a oak tree. Picture: Allan Hutchings (13834-810)
DIGGING IN From left, Happi Singh-Digpal, Mary Beech), Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas, Lacey Drinkwater and Joe Bartlett planting a oak tree. Picture: Allan Hutchings (13834-810)
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SCHOOLCHILDREN marked the beginning of a new country park by planting 60 trees.

Horsea Island Country Park is a new regeneration project by Portsmouth City Council which is part of a Diamond Jubilee Project to see 60 Jubilee Woods built in the UK.

The project will turn the 120 acres of land at the former Paulsgrove Landfill Site, near Port Solent, into a country park.

Children from Stamshaw Junior School, Tipner Road, and Paulsgrove Primary, Allaway Avenue, were invited to help plant the first trees of the country park.

The children were joined by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas who planted the first.

He said: ‘It’s a great honour. The country park will be a major asset to everyone in Portsmouth and all the children will see the benefits. This will be our own little Queen Elizabeth Country Park.’

The park will be an ongoing project which will eventually see 50,000 trees and shrubs, a cycle route, pathways, grass areas, wild flower meadows and a car park when it is finished.

Mike Hancock, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, said: ‘Today is the start of another great project and an opportunity for children to be here on day one of the Jubilee Woods.

‘They can tell their children and their grandchildren that they planted a tree and hopefully it will be something they remember.

‘It is a great leisure opportunity for the city and is another aspect of the regeneration projects we have going on around the city.’

Despite the cold weather, the children were excited and enthusiastic about planting the trees.

Mary Beech, nine, from Stamshaw Juniors, said: ‘I’ve never planted a tree before.’

She added: ‘I like that I’m helping nature and making a better community.’