A VAST woodland about to be planted on land between Sandridge and Wheathampstead has been named Heartwood Forest.

More than 600,000 trees will be planted on the 850 acre site, creating the UK's largest native forest.

And following much deliberation, The Woodland Trust finally agreed on the new name because of its appropriate associations with the new woodland including the presence of rare Lime trees, boasting heart shaped leaves, in some of the 44 acres of ancient woodland.

The name also seemed fitting because of the location of the woodland in Hertfordshire.

Project manager Toby Woodland said: "It's fantastic to have a new name for the site.

"We opened up several pathways through Heartwood Forest across 170 acres as soon as we got the keys to Heartwood Forest four weeks ago as the rest is still under cultivation. It will become available for public access at the rate of 70 hectares (170 acres) per year as tree planting progresses."

The trust completed its £8.5 million purchase of farmland earlier this month by raising £4 million in generous donations and borrowing money from it's emergency fund.

The first tree is expected to be planted later this year.