A THOUSAND trees were planted on Westmead playing field, to remember the Wiltshire soldiers who lost their lives in World War I and to make sure future generations have a better natural environment.

The project was made possible thanks to a generous donation of trees by the Woodland Trust, working in collaboration with Chippenham Borough Lands Charity and Wiltshire Council.

Soldiers of 9 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, at Buckley Barracks, and Wessex Water employees together with Borough Lands staff and members of the public joined forces to plant a mix of native broad leaf species, to create a natural looking woodland.

The trees and shrubs will offer benefits to wildlife in different ways, and include oak, silver birch, wild cherry, crab apple and hawthorn.

Volunteer Paul Martin said: "I had a few hours to spare so I thought I would help. I've seen the development around Chippenham eating up green space rapidly, and it's nice to see woodland being replaced. These trees will be here for dozens, if not hundreds of years."

Around 30 soldiers took time from their usual duties to join the tree planting session.

Lieutenant Hannah Bisbas said: "Wiltshire Council got in touch with us and asked if we would help - and we were very happy to do it. The guys have really enjoyed it."

Chippenham Borough Lands trustee Don Steele added: "It's a very accessible location, in walking distance from the town centre and available to everybody.

"It is good for the environment and for well being."