A PINT-SIZED eco warrior is over the moon after he received some very special correspondence from Buckingham Palace.

Ricky Van der Fransen, eight, from Rayleigh, wrote a letter to King Charles asking him to help save 62 trees on the former Cantel Medical Ltd site in Campfield Road, Shoebury.

The trees are set to go to make way for 70 new Taylor Wimpey homes despite being covered by tree protection orders.

The mature cedars, maples, oaks and sycamores are home to many birds and insects and have been the subject of a campaign against the development led by Tim Fransen.

But Tim's nephew Ricky, has been helping with the campaign and penned his letter to the monarch.

He said: “There are trees, insects and birds in my city. That are really pretty to look at and fun to look at, but I heard that Mr Taylor Wimpey and friends are cutting down the trees and hurting the birds and insects. That makes me feel really sad.

“Can you please help save the trees, insects and birds? I learnt at school they are really important to me and the planet. Trees give us oxygen and help keep the air clean. Insects and birds pollinate plants. We need them to be happy and healthy.”

King Charles’s head of royal correspondence said while the King couldn’t become involved personally, he thanked Ricky for his “thoughtful letter”.

The letter added: “His Majesty is deeply committed to the natural world. As King, His Majesty continues to support and celebrate global efforts towards a more sustainable future.”

Rickie’s dad, Dan Van der Fransen, said: “I couldn’t be more proud. This was all off Ricky’s own back because he has such love for wildlife and trees, it’s amazing really.”

Grandma, Wendy Van der Fransen, from Shoebury, added: “Ricky was delighted to receive a reply to the letter he sent to His Majesty The King, who, in fact, loves nature as much as Ricky does.”

Campaigner Tim Fransen added: “Ricky’s passion for wildlife and trees are truly inspiring, it warms my heart. It’s incredible to see someone so young taking the initiative for something they care about.

“While it’s unfortunate that the King cannot personally intervene in Taylor Wimpey’s current destructive scheme in Shoebury, one can’t help but imagine the possibility of such a fairytale coming true.”

Following a protest last month, Taylor Wimpey moved the metal fencing from the site.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “Preserving and enhancing biodiversity is a key consideration when we plan and build new developments and we have sought to protect and retain the highest quality trees on-site.

“Our proposals, prepared in close consultation with Southend City Council Tree officers and following an assessment by an independent arboriculturist, include the planting of 112 new trees and 540 hedges to replace the 62 low quality or dying trees that will be removed in line with our planning permission. All but one of the mature trees, which is suffering from Ash Dieback, within the development boundary will be retained.”