WORCESTER literally returned to its roots when local varieties of fruit tree were planted in Diglis.

The work was undertaken by Worcester City Council's community engagement team, supported by the Friends of Diglis Fields.

Five trees - three apple and two pear - were planted near the play area in Waverley Street, Diglis on Saturday between 10am and 1pm.

Two Worcester Black Pear trees were planted and three different varieties of apple trees - Gwendolen, Lord Hindlip and Betty Geeson.

The aim of the project is to provide a link between Diglis Playing Fields and Cherry Orchard Local Nature Reserve, enhancing the environment.

Francis Lancaster, chairman of the Friends, said: "It is part of an ongoing project to create an orchard and joining the nature reserve and the playing fields.

"The ground is all reclaimed and we have found whole bottles, jars and porcelain. In some of the holes there's more of that stuff than there is soil."

Among the volunteers were Worcester city councillor Lynn Denham, Claire Edwards, secretary of the Friends, and her son Sam Edwards, four, who helped by recovering pieces of broken china dug up from the soil.

Mrs Edwards said: "There has been a huge amount of interest. The location was picked to be near the park where people can enjoy it.

"It is all part of the ongoing development of the area and helping people to enjoy it and get more out of it."

Trevor Smith and Denis Pike, both community engagement officers at Worcester City Council, were driving in posts to form tree cages to protect the growing trees.

A mesh cage is there to safeguard the trees from animals or accidental damage and security wire holds the trees in place to reduce the risk of them being uprooted.

The trees complement the sowing of wildflowers at Diglis last October by the Friends who hope to see them bloom this Spring.

Diglis Playing Field is undergoing a period of significant change, funded by 'Section 106' money paid for by private developers as a condition for planning permission for building on the area around the canal basin.

More information visit www.friendsofdiglisfields.weebly.com