A new town orchard was officially started as the mayor planted the first tree.

Bridport Mayor Dave Bolwell said it was an honour to plant the first of 24 apple, pear, plum, damson, cherry, fig and mulberry fruit trees, provided by Bridport Tree Planting after an initiative by local people at Court Orchard.

The trees were planted on Sunday, January 28 by local adults and children in a corner of the Court Orchard recreation park and will be followed by new play equipment and new football goals provided by the Bridport Town Council.

Councillor Dave Bolwell said: “It will stand as an example to others just what can be achieved in Bridport when a community, a local group and a town council work together towards a common goal.

“We should all be very aware of the crucial role that trees play in our natural environment and also in the lives of all of us.”

Thanking the Mayor, Joe Hackett, co-ordinator of Bridport Tree Planting group, reminded the audience that each household in the town is entitled to three free saplings - not fruit trees, which are too expensive to provide free, but native species.

These include wild cherry, crab apple, hazel, birch, hawthorn, rowan, elderberry, beech, spindle, oak, dogwood, dog rose, and holly.

To apply for free trees email joe@thehacketts.uk.

Saplings will be distributed on Saturday, February 17, from 11am to noon from the group’s nursery at Riverside Gardens at the bottom of East Street.