Alexandra Primary School pupils leapt at the chance to get their hands dirty last week, in aid of native plant restoration.

Around 20 school children planted 121 native seedlings at Central Cherries Orchard, in the Waikerikeri Valley, near Alexandra.

They were joined by orchard managers and a member of the Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust.

Orchard general manager Chris Hull said the initiative was a chance to work with Alexandra Primary School and the Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust to help restore local biodiversity.

“We saw it as an opportunity to work with the trust and with the group of school children to try and develop an ongoing planting programme,” Mr Hull said.

“We recognise we have a responsibility as custodians of our land to ensure we actually put something back into the land.”

Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust project co-ordinator Rachael Baxter said having the pupils involved meant they could pass what they learnt on to future generations.

“We’ve lost so much knowledge as adults in the past few generations.

“To have the kids learn about what we’ve lost, before we lose it completely, then they can educate for future generations,” she said.