A small woodland the size of a tennis court will be planted next to the North Circular to protect the environment and provide a habitat for wildlife.

Barnet Council has teamed up with environmental charity Earthwatch to create an area of dense, fast-growing native woodland in an area of green space at Henlys Corner.

The council's 'Tiny Forests' project is designed to connect people with nature and combat the effects of climate change such as flooding and biodiversity loss.

Made up of 600 trees, they are capable of attracting more than 500 animal and plant species during the first three years.

Paul Salman, Barnet organiser for volunteer group Goodgym, said he hoped the scheme would be the first of many in the borough.

He said: "A Tiny Forest is something that people get very excited about. They quickly understand all the benefits it will bring and see it as a really positive community-building activity, so they just want to get involved.

"It is representative of what trees do, and more importantly bigger forests do all over the world, to clean the air, slow down water run-off and provide a habitat."

Organisers are now looking for volunteers to help with the tree planting, which is set to take place on February 24. Mr Salman said churches and synagogues were already on board with the scheme, and children had been asking about the project.

After the trees have been planted, people can help to look after the site through weeding, litter-picking and other activities.

The council’s environment committee unanimously agreed to the woodland project after it was proposed by Labour environment spokesperson Alan Schneiderman in November 2020.

Cllr Schneiderman said it was "really exciting" to see it going ahead, adding that Tiny Forests was a "great community initiative".

People who are interested in getting involved can email the volunteer coordinators at tinyforestbarnet@gmail.com