Children from Rackheath Primary School help to plant the first of 30,000 Norwich Northern Distributor Road trees

Pupils from Rackheath Primary School eco committee helping plant trees at the NDR site.Picture: ANTO

Pupils from Rackheath Primary School eco committee helping plant trees at the NDR site.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The first of tens of thousands of trees to line the route of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road was planted today by schoolchildren and councillors.

Children from the Eco Committee at Rackheath Primary school braved the frost and donned hi-vis jackets to help plant a large sapling off Newman Road.

It is the first of more than 30,000 trees to be planted, and the children then got to work on the whips which surround the tree.

They were joined by councillor Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee, and Broadland District Council chief executive Phil Kirby.

The event also marked the appointment of the Norse Group to carry out the planting and aftercare of almost 300,000 native trees, shrubs and hedgerow plants.

Altogether these will add up to more than 61 hectares of broad-leaved woodland along the 20km route of the new road.

There was also a tour and explanation of other wildlife and environmental measures already in place, including a purpose-built bat roost barn, and four new ponds and refuge areas for great crested newts and other amphibians.

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Mr Wilby said: 'It was really brilliant, it was one of those days where it was lovely.

'After we planted the tree the children went back inside and they were given a small gift for the school, a bat house and other bits.

'With the NDR we're ahead of schedule, it's important to have the children as part of it so they understand what we're trying to do, we're not just building a road, for every tree we're taking away we're planting six.'

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