GREEN-fingered volunteers will help to create the first phase of a woodland buffer in Wroughton tomorrow.

The Great Western Community Forest (GWCF) and members of the public will plant 1,600 trees on land next to Wroughton Junior School as part of a project to improve the landscape between the Front Garden and the village.

The community woodland, which is being partly funded by the Wichelstowe developers, will eventually see 100,000 trees being planted between Wroughton and the M4, stretching as far as Hay Lane to the west.

Heather Lilley, community education officer for GWCF, said; "The area where we are planting used to be a farmer's field, which he is taking out of farming, and he was happy for us to plant the trees there.

"It is bang next to the school so it is going to be a real community asset.

"And that will be the beginning of the cycle route into Wichelstowe which will go over the new M4 bridge.

"I would imag-ine we will be working on the bit of land between the M4 and Wroughton for the next 10 to 15 years.

"We have got more funding from Wichelstowe and we have funding from other sources to improve the landscape because we will be having about 4,500 new homes and all those extra residents when Wichelstowe is built.

"There will be new foot-paths, cycle routes and bridle-ways. We usually get up to 500 people on some of our larger tree planting events, but we would welcome any volunteers tomorrow as it should be a nice family day out."

The event has been organised in partnership with Wroughton Parish Council, InSwindon and Active Swindon.

Volunteers are asked to take along their own garden spades, as well as warm clothing and suitable footwear such as Wellington boots.

There will be activities for families, along with a Forest Café selling warming winter drinks and locally-produced food.

The school hall will feature displays of the work of the GWCF and other local groups.

The native trees that have been chosen for the one-hectare woodland are in keeping with existing plant varieties in the area, including oak, ash, sweet chestnut, hazel, and crab apple.

The tree planting day will take place between 10am and 3pm on Sunday and all are welcome.