For the sixth consecutive year, a local train company is teaming up with the Forestry Commission to donate nearly £30,000 to tree and woodland conservation projects across the North of England and into Scotland, including the North West.

First Transpennine Express (FTPE) has been helping to improve the environment and encourage the growth of wildlife in the North of England and into Scotland since 2007.

Open to community groups, charities, schools and individuals who allow open access to their land, applicants can apply for up to £2000 in green grants for environmental projects.

Applications are judged by a select team of FTPE and Forestry Commission representatives and measured on their involvement with and impact on the local community, as well as overall positive environmental impact and closeness to FTPE stations.

Partington Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, both in the Trafford area of Greater Manchester, successfully applied for funding with the help of community group Red Rose Forest, to plant fruit orchards on their schools grounds.

Planted by teachers and pupils, with the help of staff from First Transpennine Express, the apple, pear and plum trees have provided teachers with an opportunity to talk about the environment and healthy eating, in addition to contributing to the fruit used by catering staff in schools meals.

Kevin Wigley, Green Streets Project Officer for Red Rose Forest community group, adds; "The £2000 in green grants from FTPE and The Forestry Commission enabled us to create a positive environment for both teachers and pupils to learn about environmental issues and the importance of a healthy diet.

"Without the green grants scheme we would not have been able to plant the two orchards that have proved incredibly valuable to both schools."

Simon Barber, Environmental Manager for FTPE, said; "The Green Grants Scheme has helped many worthwhile schemes and it is great to have the opportunity to do this again and enable the communities in and around Manchester and the North West to benefit.

"We are also looking forward to working with the Forestry Commission again and I hope that it will inspire people to make a positive improvement to their local environment."

James Anderson-Bickley from the Forestry Commission added:

"We are delighted to be working with FTPE, helping to make a real difference to local communities and the environment.  Since this grant scheme began we have been able to support a wide range of grassroots projects across the North of England."

The donation form part of FTPE's six year £125,000 commitment to providing and protecting green areas on and around FTPE routes. For more information and to find out how if you're eligible to apply visit .

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