LOCALS are being encouraged to roll up their sleeves and grab a spade to help create a new shared growing space in Cinderford.

Gardening group Cinderford Grows are turning an unused patch of land in Steam Mills into a community orchard and growing space “for everyone in the community to freely use and enjoy”.

Having finished works to prepare the ground during the autumn, they are inviting locals to help them get planting at an Open Day this Saturday (December 3).

Cinderford Grows was set up by local volunteers last year to promote “better wellbeing” through gardening, including by re-building connections lost during Covid restrictions.

Its members take “a light-hearted approach” based on their shared ethos that ‘Gardening is cheaper than therapy!’

The group secured permission to use the land from Cinderford Town Council earlier this year, thanks to support from local charity Wyldwood Arts through its National Lottery-funded Reaching Communities programme.

This weekend’s event will include the tree planting and the laying of paths by group members and local volunteers - with hot soup and mince pies available to all involved.

“It might be getting chilly out there, but it’s still a wonderful time of the year to be outdoors,” said project coordinator Sarah Wyatt from Wyldwood Arts.

“We had a great time clearing the area where the orchard is to be, so we hope even more people will come along on the 3rd and get stuck in!”

The event will take place between 10am and 2pm, at the south end of Steam Mills playing fields.

The project follows works from the group to tidy up and make use of land at St John’s Square in Cinderford as a “growing and learning space” this year.

Those who can’t attend the event this weekend but would like to be involved in the future should email [email protected] or join the ‘Cinderford Grows’ group on Facebook.