AT least 300 trees have been planted across Southend, courtesy of a green-fingered 100-year-old.

The Once-Upon-a-Tree campaign planted between 300 and 400 trees in Chalkwell Park, Southend, and Bernice Clarke, who recently turned 100, was heavily involved in the planting.

The whips, provided by Southend Council, were planted as part of the council's community tree planting days.

The centenarian, who donated thousands of pounds to the campaign - all from her milestone birthday gifts - planted ten trees on Saturday, along with friends and visitors who came along.

Once-Upon-a-Tree, an ever-growing campaign, urges Southend Council to preserve ancient trees in the town and plant new ones.

Park officers from the council got involved and planted trees for themselves on Saturday, and were thanked by Richard Longstaff, the campaign organiser.

The 50-year-old said: “Everybody was in high spirits and enjoying the sunny calm before the storm.

“Our council’s parks team were awesome. And what a turnout, it was really inspiring to see so many friendly folk from our community getting so much out of this.

“It was truly intergenerational with ages from 100 to 18 months all actively contributing to the planting. How amazing is that?”

Mr Longstaff also thanked Ruby Taylor, 80, Keith Baxter, 60, and Joseph Cornell, aged under a year, for all planting celebratory birthday trees on the day.

He added: “It was exactly what we are trying to achieve with everyone who wants to make a difference to help re-greening Southend.

“Everyone came together to share smiles, knowledge and ideas.

“Photos don’t do it justice.”

The campaign is also taking orders for gift trees and plan on planting fruit trees in the future at various locations across Southend.

This story first appeared in the Southend Echo.