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A team of Oxfordshire Army Cadets have planted hundreds of WW1 memorial trees on the Earth Trust's new wetland nature reserve.

The trees were provided by the Woodland Trust, who have been marking the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 by offering millions of saplings for groups to plant living memorials to the lives lost and affected by the war.

The River of Life site is 2.5km of Thames frontage that the Earth Trust is ‘re-wilding’. New backwaters, ponds and channels have already been dug, and over the next few months wildflower meadows, reedbeds and wet woodland areas will be created. The result will be a new nature reserve that will benefit wildlife, improve water quality and provide opportunities for local people to explore wetland habitats. Two and a half hectares of wet woodland is being planted with native species including oak, birch and black poplar over the next month.

“We’re very grateful to the Cadets for helping establish this new woodland, they worked really hard and planted hundreds of trees. It’s fantastic to think it will stand as a lasting legacy to the servicemen and women who fought in the First World War. A plaque will be erected at the Earth Trust Centre to commemorate the occasion,” said Chris Parker, Head of Land Management at the Earth Trust.

Ed Vaizey MP, Councillor Lynda Atkins, and the Mayor of Didcot were amongst those visiting the Cadets in action.

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