THE start of a new academy trust hoping to improve education for children in West Dorset was celebrated with the planting of trees at five schools.

Piddle Valley First School, Milbourne St Andrew First School, St Mary’s Middle School, Puddletown First School and Frome Valley First School have all recently come together to form the trust.

The trust has been called the Greenwood Tree Trust and hopes to bring the five schools closer together.

The four first schools all feed in to St Mary’s Middle School.

To celebrate the new partnership between the schools, trees were donated to each of them to be planted.

The trees were donated to the schools by the charity Trees for Dorset.

The donation was also part of National Tree Week.

Paul Chadwick, executive headteacher at the trust, said: “We’re working together to find different ways to make education better for the youngsters in our schools.”

The trust was called Greenwood Tree after the Thomas Hardye novel Under the Greenwood Tree.

Mr Chadwick said this is one of the more accessible Hardye novels for young children so the trust was named after this.

He added: “Each of the schools has now got a tree as a symbol of working together as a trust.”

Trees for Dorset aims to promote, conserve, protect and improve the environment.