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Derbyshire to be home to first 'Young People's Forest'

Hundreds of young people are being asked to take part Credit: Chris Belton

Young people will plant a quarter of a million trees creating the UK's first 'Young People's Forest'.

The Woodland Trust has selected a 162 hectare (400 acre) former coal mine site Derbyshire to be the home for the project.

They hope the site will spark an interest in nature and the environment among young people.

The site will be based on a former coal mine in Derbyshire Credit: Chris Belton

This is a really exciting opportunity as it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired land expressly for youth engagement.

We want to make a really concerted effort to ensure young people feel this new wood is for them.

If young people see themselves having an impact here, it will give them confidence to think they can change things in their own lives and beyond.”

– Carol Honeybun-Kelly, Woodland Trust
250,000 trees will be planted next year Credit: Chris Belton

The Trust has received support from a number of organisations including the Big Lottery Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

However, they still need to raise almost £5 million to develop the site close to Heanor, Derbyshire, known locally as Mead.

The Woodland Trust has also teamed up with #iwill – a campaign set up to increase volunteering and social action opportunities for young people.

It’s super that we are able to harness such an unusual site.

It’s equidistant between Nottingham and Derby, and a million people live within a 20-minute drive.

And it feels powerful to have a really inspiring project for young people embedded in the community.

– Charlotte Hill, #iwill

The first of 250,000 saplings will be ready to plant from next autumn