More than two thousand people including lawmakers and students hugged trees in a park outside Nepal’s capital Kathmandu to claim a new record on World Environment Day.

After organisers sounded a horn, eager students, many of whom were wearing school uniforms, clasped tree trunks for two minutes as Nepalese musicians beat traditional drums.

“We had a very high turnout. In the end 2,001 people hugged trees together... to claim a new world record”, said Thaneswar Guragai, one of the event’s organisers.

Among the tree-huggers was 24-year-old student Tripti Prajapti who told Agence France-Presse: “When you hug a tree you feel connected... even as an individual you can contribute to protect and conserve trees”.

Twenty Nepalese lawmakers turned up to support the campaigners.

“We came here to encourage the kids. Just hugging a tree may not make a difference but... it raises awareness”, said lawmaker Krishna Bahadur Chhantel Thapa.

Organisers will now submit their claim for a new record to Guinness World Records, which is expected to rule on it within two months.

The current record for the world’s largest tree-hugging event was set in July 2013, when 936 people gathered in the US state of Oregon.