GREEN-fingered Farmhill and Paganhill residents are celebrating after harvesting the first apple from their community mini orchard.

“I’ve never seen an eating apple this size before,” said Jaqui Smith, chair of the Paganhill Community Group.

“The apple trees were grown by Day’s Cottage and donated by Stroud Valleys Project.

"Stroud Town Council’s green team helped us to plant them and our community garden project members have been tending the young saplings.

“The harvest this first year was only one huge apple, but there will be more in the future on the five apple trees planted last year.”

Paganhill Community Group aims to bring people living in Farmhill and Paganhill together as good neighbours, and this ethos has come into its own during during the Covid crisis, with neighbours collecting prescriptions and shopping for people self-isolating.

The group also launched the successful Bus Stop Free Shop, opposite the Anti-Slavery Arch in Farmhill Lane. Surplus food from local supermarkets, fresh vegetables grown in the community garden, books and children’s toys are placed there to be shared freely among locals in need.

The group is now looking at other ways to support local people through the hard months ahead by working with The Long Table in Brimscombe to distribute frozen healthy meals and setting up a community fridge.