SCHOOLCHILDREN have been busy planting fruit trees and getting close to nature as part of Airbus’ ongoing School Orchard Project.

The wing-maker has run the conservation programme with the North Wales Wildlife Trust since 2011 and more than 40 mini orchards have been planted at schools across Northeast Wales and Cheshire.

This year, Airbus visited six more local primary schools to plant orchards and teach about maintaining local habitats.

The six schools visited by the Orchard Project team this year were Ysgol Derwenfa in Leeswood Ysgol Derwen primary in Higher Kinnerton, Wood Memorial Primary School in Saltney, Drury Lane Primary, Mountain Lane Primary School and Ysgol Pen Barras in Ruthin.

The NWWT’s Iwan Edwards, who runs the programme at the schools, said: “This project continues to build on the fantastic work we’ve done with Airbus over the last nine years. We’re fast approaching working with 60 schools which is a wonderful legacy not only for the children in these schools but nature in general.”

Phil McGraa, community relations manager at Airbus, said: “Orchards are an important part of the Welsh landscape – not only do they provide tasty fruit which can be consumed but they offer a refuge for wildlife and create an environment that is rich in biodiversity.”

Laura Cartwight, a teacher at Ysgol Derwenfa, Leeswood, said: “We’re trying to develop our outdoor area so it means a lot that the children have the chance to learn how to care for it correctly.”