Youngsters from St. Bede's Primary School helped to plant over 200 trees at Widnes Tennis Academy on 5 December, as part of a project to create a new community woodland on the land adjacent to the academy.
The children donned wellies and picked up spades in order to kickstart the development of the woodland, which is set to feature new footpaths, wildflower meadows and a willow dome.
The woodland will be a shared community space which everyone can use. The club, which already gives back to the community by providing occasional free tennis sessions, has plans to use the woodland to host Forest School sessions, which combine child-led learning about the natural world with the national curriculum.
It is hoped that the children who benefit from these natural learning sessions will also take advantage of the tennis facilities on the site with their families.
The project is being funded by Runcorn-based chemicals manufacturer INEOS ChlorVinyls through the Landfill Communities Fund, and is being coordinated by The Mersey Forest.
Janet Ward of INEOS ChlorVinyls said: "We are very pleased to be involved in this project. The benefits of natural play are well documented and we hope that everybody in the community will enjoy the woodland."
Alison Redman, a spokesperson from Widnes Tennis Academy, said: "The woodlands will be open for everybody to use, not just patrons of the tennis club.
"We hope that by creating the community woodland at Widnes Tennis Academy, we will be able to encourage families to play together, both on the tennis court and in the great outdoors."