Residents in Sherston have planted a community orchard in a bid to boost biodiversity in the village.

The initiative was started by local group Sustainable Sherston who teamed up with Sherston Parish Council and the village hall to get the project off the ground.

During a weekend in March, no less than 25 families volunteered to plant the trees in the field behind Sherston’s Village Hall.

Each family was given a different time slot in order to adhere to government guidelines for social distancing.

Tree species planted include apple, plum and pear.

This comes after Sustainable Sherston started a project to increase the village’s swift population by hanging specially-built swift nesting boxes around the village.

So far 40 swift boxes have been put into place ready for the birds to move into this spring, with many more being built.

As well as boosting biodiversity and supporting local wildlife, Sustainable Sherston is working towards a zero carbon Sherston and a single-use-plastic free Sherston.

Parish councillor Martin Fausing Smith said: “Planting trees is good for the environment, good for people’s well-being, and also the fact that it’s an orchard means that it produces food that people can eat so it’s win, win, win.

“As the trees mature we will also let the grass grow longer and we’re going to have wild flowers underneath them so it’s going to be a more biodiverse area of the village. It will be a nice place to relax and take in the atmosphere so it’s beneficial on many levels.”

The 25 trees that were planted in March is only the first stage. More trees will be planted in the autumn.

To get involved, visit