4,000 saplings have been planted in the Usk Valley.

Aerospace engineering company Leonardo's employees from Bristol and Yeovil collaborated with veterans to take on the task of creating hedgerows aimed at improving biodiversity.

The effort was part of an initiative with Carma and the Green Task Force, creating hundreds of days of practical employment for veterans.

The saplings, a combination of Hawthorn, field maple, and hazel, will lend their hands in creating a haven for wildlife, acting as mini metropolises, offering food and shelter for a variety of species.

Free Press Series: Veterans and staff got stuck inVeterans and staff got stuck in (Image: Leonardo)

Jim Holland, co-founder of Carma, said: "We had a tremendous day planting hedgerows with Leonardo, the team turned up and endured all types of weather to plant nearly 4,000 trees in record time – with the remaining 2,000 to be planted by veterans in the coming days.

"Connecting with nature, connecting with each other, creating biodiversity gain and supporting veterans all with a smile on their face.

"As an ex-serviceman myself, connecting veterans with nature and companies committed to making a difference is important."

Speaking about this shared day of tree planting, Leonardo's head of sustainability, Ben Knight, proudly stated, "Initiatives such as this are a fantastic example of how businesses can create a positive impact on both people and the natural world.

"We are all interconnected with nature, but in the UK we have seen a 65% decline in priority species since 1970, so any action that can help restore nature is crucial.

"Working with Carma and The Green Task Force also ensures that skills and employment are available to veterans when they leave service – whilst access to nature is well known to be so important for wellbeing."

Carma, specialise in guiding organisations to explore opportunities for positive environmental and social impact, is in partnership with the Green Task Force and the PATT Foundation.

Their joint objective is to carve out employment paths for service leavers and veterans.

Free Press Series: 4,000 saplings were planted4,000 saplings were planted (Image: Leonardo)

The Green Task Force acknowledges that engaging in natural surroundings positively affects veterans' mental health.

As an Armed Forces Covenant member, Leonardo is committed to honouring and supporting the Armed Forces Community.

This includes offering employment opportunities to veterans and acknowledging the value of military skills and qualifications during their recruitment and selection process.

Plans are also afoot to plant a future batch of another 4,000 saplings later this year.