MICKEY MOUSE made a celebrity guest appearance at Heartwood Forest today to announce Walt Disney's plans to create its own wood within the 850-acre site.

More than 600,000 trees will be planted on land between Wheathampstead and Sandridge over the next few years, creating the UK's largest native forest.

Today Disney Store UK announced its plans to sponsor a 50-acre site, which the company has named The Magical Wood.

The children's store will be introducing re-usable shopping bags with a specially designed logo featuring Disney characters Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.

For each bag sold, £1 will be donated to the Woodland Trust. In addition, the Disney Store is planning to charge for its carrier bags, with all profits going towards creating The Magical Wood.

Teresa Tideman, joint managing director of the Disney Store Europe, said: "Disney Store is delighted to work with the Woodland Trust to connect children and families with our precious woodland to ensure their natural playground is preserved forever.

"We have a range of initiatives lined up that will not only raise funds but also educate our guests and cast members on the importance of trees to our environment and well being."

Karl Mitchell, director of development of the Woodland Trust, said: "We are delighted to unveil Disney store as the first company to help us create our groundbreaking Heratwood Forest. We aim to inspire children to look after the environment, as well as creating a fantastic woodland which will excite generations of children to come."

Disney's sponsorship comes just a week after rumours circulated that the trust was planning to down scale its ambitious plans due to a lack of investment in the scheme.