SCHOOL students will play a part in helping Oswestry Town Council take a giant leap to hitting its target for planting 17,000 trees.

Proposals on how thousands of trees will be planted across two locations – at Gatacre and at the Marches school in Morda Road – will be discussed at an extra meeting of development and planning committee.

The agenda item is to follow up a recommendation from the Climate Change Partnership Panel meeting, held last month, with project to plant one tree for each of Oswestry's 17,000 residents.

A report created by project development officer Corrie Davies has set out for councillors how to implement the proposal, with support from Marches pupils in the late autumn.

She said: "Building on community conversations, several locations on site at Gatacre were outlined as providing opportunity for planting trees.

"The space is a well-loved community area and used by many residents; it is hoped that additional planting would add benefit to those residents who use the area.

"It is also an arrival point for visitors to Oswestry who park there en route to the Hillfort.

"Separately, following a site meeting with staff at the Marches and Shropshire Wildlife Trust, there is opportunity to plant trees on site at the Marches and approval has been given for students to have time off timetable to plant in November, with the aim of enabling every student the experience of planting a tree, encouraging guardianship and long-term learning."

In her report, Ms Davies said the land in Gatacre, close to Woodside Primary School, will see around 1,800-2,000 trees planted, for a hedge of three trees deep, using the bare root Beech tree.

She explained that other pockets of space around the park could also be used, with a top estimate of around £4,500, based on 2,000 larger trees.

Meanwhile, at the Marches, there has been an indication that the school would like to 1,200-1,500 sites with an extra 10-20 large trees.

Ms Davies added: "The aim is for students to have the time off timetable to plant the trees in November, but there will be a need for help and equipment.

"A wider aim would be to enable every student the experience of planting a tree linked to climate change education.

"Shropshire Wildlife Trust will also be looking to make improvements to their eco garden on site (planting, compost bins, training sessions, bird boxes, etc) and hoping to run funded session with the Eco Club to identify projects for £500-£5000 Green Influencers funding.

"A visit will also be undertaken to Boglife at Whixall Moss to learn about climate change."

According to the report, around £1,600 to £3,150 will be needed to support the Marches.

Ms Davies concluded: " In summary both schemes provide opportunity to plant a proportion of trees towards the quota of trees that the Town Council would like to achieve. They will enable partnership working with a town secondary school and a key feeder primary school, alongside an accessible community space for the public."