Michael Morpurgo will be in Torrington on Friday 2 June planting a fruit tree in the orchard in Torrington near the Roman Road with a group of  young people from the Plough Arts Centre - The Future group, along with Yuval Sommer, the illustrator of the book My Heart Was a Tree - his new book.

Inspired by the poem by Ted Hughes which gives the book its title, by the woods around his home, and by the mighty forests that support our life on Earth, this book has been described as a celebration and a love letter to trees.

Michael said: 'The poems and stories in this book have been written because, every day that I can, I go for a walk in the bluebell woods behind our house. I know every one of the trees I pass. They hear me coming, they listen to me. I listen to them, to the whisper of them, the roaring of them, the creaking of them. There is one poem above all others for me that tells more powerfully of trees than any other I know, My own true family by Ted Hughes. The great poet who wrote it walked through my bluebell woods, touched the same trees, listened to them, wrote for them. It is his spirit and his great tree poem that held my hand as I began to write this book.'

Stories include that of an ancient olive remembering Odysseus and Penelope; from a eucalyptus that gave shelter to a koala; from a piece of driftwood that was made into a chair; and from a tiny sapling carried by a refugee as a reminder of home.

Yuval Zommer commented: 'This book was pure joy to work on, combining as it does two of my passions: poetry, by one of our greatest writers, and trees. Trees were always an integral part of my childhood. I was the child that used to climb up trees, pick fruit directly from trees, play and read under the shelter of trees. To this day when I look at the veins in a tree leaf I am reminded of our intrinsic connections to nature.'