THE Forestry Commission has rounded off its centenary year with a series of tree planting events across forests and woodlands.

Forestry England, the commission’s agency that cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, has planted several commemorative trees in Dorset and the New Forest to mark the milestone.

One hundred white paper birch trees have been planted to create a special centenary avenue of trees at Moors Valley Country Park.

Meanwhile, at Blandford Forest volunteers, conservation partners and the forestry team planted a beech tree and commemorative stone.

Across Dorset’s forests, Forestry England will plant a total of over 80,000 new trees this winter.

Forestry England New Forest deputy surveyor Bruce Rothine said: "Our 100 year anniversary has been an important milestone for our team who are out in the forest every day helping to care for it.

"They are looking after the trees planted by those who came before them and in turn planting today for the next generations who will become the champions of nature and our woodlands for the next 100 years.

"This centenary year has given us a chance to look back but also to consider what the future might have in store.

"The trees we plant today and the improvements we make to landscapes, rivers and habitats across the New Forest will take many years to reach maturity. We must try to make sure that when they reach this point they are able to thrive in a changing natural world.”

In the New Forest, an English oak tree was planted by school children at the Blackwater Arboretum.

It takes its place amongst over 230 different species of trees looked after within this special tree collection.

Foresters, keepers and rangers came together at Linford in the north of the New Forest where a beech tree was planted by two forest craftsmen who joined the organisation this year.

They join a team planting the next generation of trees across the New Forest this winter, adding to around 100,000 new native broadleaf trees planted here over the last five years.

At Lyndhurst in the heart of the New Forest, Jayne Albery, Forestry England’s longest serving employee in the Forest, planted a commemorative tree. Jayne has worked for the organisation for over 45 years following in the footsteps of many generations of her family.