HUNDREDS of Dorset folk turned out to help Queen guitarist Brian May kick start his woodland scheme.

The rock star was joined by adults and children from Bere Regis and Shitterton to plant the first tree in what will become ‘May’s Wood’.

The Save Me project will establish new native woodland on a 157-acre site near Bere Regis.

Over the next 12 months more than 100,000 trees will be planted in the area.

The Save Me project plans to reclaim the land that used to be forest and create a wildlife haven that both animals and people will be able to enjoy.

The public will eventually be able to walk on footpaths through the woods.

The woodland was originally going to be called Save Me Woods, but it has become known by local residents as May’s Wood and the name stuck.

Dr May opened the event with a speech about his vision for the wood and then children from Bere Regis First School sang a newly-created woodland song.

The song contained the lyrics: “Our children’s children will walk through these woods and in the meadows that were planted with love.”

Dr May then planted the first oak sapling and the community mucked in to plant hundreds more.

Speaking to the Echo, Dr May said he was feeling ‘very excited’ about the future of the project.

He said: “I’m delighted that people are here and that everyone’s here and into it.

“It’s very exciting to think the children will grow up beside the trees they have planted.”

He added: “I feel excited – I have never done anything like this in my life.

“This is completely new to me.

“It feels very rewarding already to see the first of the saplings.”

Dr May said that the project was ‘a small acorn in the grand scheme of things’ but that he hoped the idea would spread.

He said: “This seems big to us but it’s a tiny drop in the ocean of the UK’s land.”

He added: “I’m happy to say we are working with great people all over the world trying to establish similar projects.”