Harry lends a hand in Botswana tree-planting ceremony

The Duke of Sussex took part in the ultimate tree-planting ceremony – straining with dozens of people to get a huge sapling into the ground.

Harry clearly enjoyed the challenge of helping to create a new forest habitat on the banks of Botswana’s Chobe River.

After decades of deforestation from locals gathering firewood and elephant activity, a conservation organisation working with locals is trying to create a nature and cultural park for the community.

The duke got stuck in trying to plant the 10-metre tall tree and worked with a group of men to push it upright before packing it with soil.

The Duke of Sussex lends a hand planting a tree
The Duke of Sussex lends a hand (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

When he saw the huge mound of earth that needed to go into the hole, he smiled and joked: “How long do we have?”

Harry later joined young schoolchildren planting mahogany trees, crouching down with one young child to help him pack the sandy soil around the tiny sapling and at the end he high-fived the youngster to celebrate.

When the duke first arrived he was hugged by his friend Dr Mike Chase, conservationist and founder of Elephant Without Borders, which is working with a local organisation to develop the site into a nature and cultural reserve.

The land was privately owned but has been pledged to the local community and Dr Chase’s organisation will manage it with the aim of creating a thriving riverbank forest.

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