A TARPORLEY woman is helping to give hope to Palestinian farmers caught up in the Gaza conflict.

Leslie Tuckwell will head to the West Bank next month to join The Olive Tree campaign, which aims to plant 50,000 olive trees in the Middle East.

The trees are planted in places where they have been uprooted and destroyed or where fields are threatened by land confiscation.

This is the second time that Leslie, whose husband Richard is curate of St Andrew’s Church in Tarvin, has travelled to the war-torn area on the charity mission.

“I went last year,” said Leslie. “The fact that we are there helping and talking to them gives them hope and they know that someone cares.

“I want to be able to plant some roots for peace.”

The olive branch is an international symbol of peace and each tree costs £12 to plant including preparing the land, irrigation systems and fences.

“According to the charity’s website, one million trees and thousands of acres of famland have been destroyed in the Palestinian Territories by the Israeli Occupation Army since September 2000.

“So far more than 25,000 trees have been planted in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

“I will be there for 10 days,” added Leslie, “and will work at least every other day planting the trees. It’s hard work but you meet people there from all over the world.”

Leslie will stay in hotels and with local families and has already raised £100 worth of sponsorship to go directly to the charity.

“If anyone is interested in sponsoring a tree I will collect all the money together to take with me,” added Leslie.

Sponsors of trees receive an official certificate and sponsor names are added to a plaque in the field where the tree is planted.

BLOB: To donate to the Olive Tree campaign, contact Leslie Tuckwell on 01829 732732 or email leslie.tuckwell@googlemail.com.