SCHOOLS are being contacted by Bournemouth Air Festival organisers to see if they'd like to participate in a tree planting project to offset the carbon footprint of displaying aircraft.

The initiative, criticised by green campaigners as 'a token gesture', was announced in the run-up to this year's event which attracted more than 800,000 people to the town.

Just weeks earlier BCP Council, which puts on the air festival, had declared a climate emergency.

Now, a statement from Bournemouth Air Festival organisers explains: "Following last month's announcement pledging to offset the carbon footprint of all displaying aircraft at Bournemouth Air Festival, the organisers have confirmed that the total amount of CO2 emissions from the fuel consumed was an estimated 240 tonnes.

"This calculation is now being confirmed and, in association with Carbon Footprint Ltd, BCP Tourism is contacting schools across the area who may be interested in participating in a tree planting project to plant around 240 trees in the local area."

BCP Tourism is working in partnership with the Carbon Footprint organisation in support of a project to prevent unplanned deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

Record numbers of fires have burned in the Amazon rainforest throughout the year, with cattle ranchers and loggers being blamed with starting them to clear land.

Scientists say the Amazon rainforest produces 20 per cent the planet's oxygen.

The statement from festival organisers said: "For each tree planted a tonne of carbon will also be saved in the Amazon Rainforest through the RMDLT Portel-Para REDD avoided deforestation project which is audited and certified by the internationally recognised Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

"The trees planted will all be native broad leaf species helping to preserve the UK’s environment and biodiversity."

Any schools interested in participating in this project should contact