A CAMPAIGNER who recently turned 100 is helping to plant trees after she donated thousands of pounds raised on her special day.

Bernice Clarke, who has celebrated her 100th birthday, demanded that more trees are planted in Southend after she donated to the Once-Upon-a Tree campaign after her family donated more than £2,000.

Southend Standard:

Birthday - Richard Longstaff presented the certificate to Bernice

The campaign urges Southend Council to protect ancient trees and to plant new ones in the town.

The group formed last year after they discovered that 3,000 mature trees across Southend had been removed in the past 10 years.

Bernice, who has lived in Southend for over 75 years, and donated £2000 to the campaign along with her family, has been granted her wish by Southend Council to plant trees in Chalkwell Park in February.

Richard Longstaff, the campaign organiser, delivered a tree planting certificate to Bernice, which she is displaying in her birthday album.

He said: “To celebrate her birthday she reconnected with friends from all over the world, and Bernice encouraged donations to Once Upon a Tree.

“Her affection goes back to some of her earliest childhood memories.

“Bernice expressed how saddened she has been at the number of street trees lost in recent years.

“She was keen to share the generosity and presented a cheque to us in person.

“On her birthday, guests were invited to write a personal message on a paper leaf in keeping with the tree theme.

“One of these we transcribed onto the certificate, which was a message from her niece which read: ‘In another 100 years there will be a little forest that still whispers your name’.

“It struck a chord with us and we are sincerely grateful for the kindness and generosity of Bernice and her wonderful family and friends, who all support and applaud what we are achieving at Once Upon a Tree.”

Mr Longstaff also expressed his thanks to Southend Council for allowing the planting of the trees in the popular park.

He thanked Mrs Clarke for her huge donation to the ever-growing campaign.

Bernice will see her trees planted on Saturday February 8, from 10am until noon, and visitors are encouraged to come along.