More than 4,000 new trees will be planted as part of a £1.25m project to grow an area of woodland in Swindon.

The planting at Pack Hill Wood is being done by the Nationwide Building Society in partnership with the Woodland Trust.

Along with the trust, Nationwide, which employs 7,000 people in Swindon, is planting 60,000 trees and creating several new woods across the country.

The first 1,000 trees will go in the ground today, with a further 3,000 next year in the council-owned woodland.

The Woodland Trust’s south west regional manager Ross Kennerley said: "By planting trees in communities across the UK, such as here in Swindon, Nationwide will be helping people to reconnect to the many benefits trees bring, from reducing stress, providing places for adventure and recreation – and of course there are the natural benefits such as providing new homes for wildlife and soaking up harmful carbon."

Social investment manager at Nationwide Lynn Forrester said: “We want to do the right thing in terms of building a sustainable business for our members and employees and our woodland creation programme will help us reduce our environmental impact.”

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, added: “Although the trees will take a few years to flourish, it will be an important addition to the ever-increasing areas of woodland in Swindon as part of the Great Western Community Forest.

“Not only will the woodland provide an important recreation space in the years to come, it represents the next step in the work of the council to help mitigate the impacts of planned urban growth to the east of the town.

“The woods have been designed to include plenty of open spaces and we have incorporated the route of the Wilts & Berks Canal which will be an important future link.”

As well as tree planting, Nationwide funds the trust’s Community Woods program, which engages communities across the UK in managing green sites designed to bring people together using nature, wildlife and of course trees.

The council and the Great Western Community Forest have been working with the Woodland Trust for many years at sites across the county improving access to existing woodland and planting new woods.

Pack Hill Wood is on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the woodland will improve the landscape especially for the New Eastern Villages development.