A 'COMMUNITY wood' is set to be planted in Oxford - to the delight of environmentalists.

As many as 300 trees are being earmarked for a green space in Marston from late autumn.

The initiative, which many hope will be replicated around the city if it is successful, came after enthusiastic residents proposed the idea for the Croft Road Recreation Ground.

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One, Alistair Morris from Marston Community Gardening, explained: "The trees will benefit wildlife, enhance the area, increase biodiversity, act as clean air lungs for the city, and help combat climate change by trapping carbon.

"It is a win-win for everyone, but especially the planet."

He added: "I can't stress how important and significant this is for the future of our wildlife, environment and the planet.

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"We need to be planting many, many more trees across the city to help offset climate change and try and reduce the damage it will cause in the next decade."

He added that some fruit trees are likely to be planted – meaning locals can help themselves to 'free fruit' – and that long grass will be left uncut to benefit wildlife.

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City councillor Marie Tidball said: “Oxford Direct Services, working with our Green Space Development team and the community around Croft Road, will be planting a community woodland in late November. This follows great community interest.

"Over 40 members of the public came to a meeting to discuss the plan, which came from the users of the park. This is a great example of the community and city working together to improve the site and makes a valuable contribution to tree cover in Oxford”.

Friends of the Earth's local branch have long advocated planting more trees to absorb carbon emissions and have launched a campaign to double tree cover in the UK.

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This month they are holding a meeting about the issue, with the new wood likely to be discussed.

In a recent email to members urging more tree planting at the end of November, they wrote: "We should look locally – creating and expanding community woodlands, planting around school and college grounds, more trees in parks and ‘greening the green belt’ to create better spaces for nature."

City councillor Louise Upton added: "We are acutely aware that the city needs to reduce its carbon footprint. That is why I was delighted when residents approached me to ask for support.

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"The plan is for our tree officer to give some training and his expertise at the beginning, and then for the residents to take care of the trees after that.

"I hope we can replicate this model across the city."

Marston city councillor Mary Clarkson added that the new trees would 'enhance the space and support bird life'.