A welcoming community allotment has been launched in Dorchester.

Those behind the scheme are now inviting people of all ages and abilities to head down to the allotment on the Allington Avenue site to get involved.

The site is owned by Dorchester Town Council and the community allotment has been created by Volunteer Centre Dorset. It aims to be a facility where groups and individuals can get involved without the full time commitment and expense of running their own allotment on a permanent basis.

Supported and funded by Carriers for Causes and linked to the One Stop Stores, the ethos is to encourage volunteers to get involved growing and nurturing plants at a practical level and get healthy and inspired by outdoor projects.

Deputy manager Craig Womble said: "The aim is to provide a local facility with supervision to those that want to find out more about growing their own. The allotment is a great area to relax, get immersed in the outdoors and totally different and see things actually grow.

"We have a small team at present including an experienced gardener who provides advice and support. We are happy to have groups come and to get involved young or old with the development of the two local allotments which include several raised beds and planting areas. Last year we were able to include several cookery workshops free to volunteers to incorporate our ‘local produce’ and next year hope to do the same."

He added: "With the environment high on the agenda and alternative therapies be a highly recommended choice, why not get involved or try it out? It’s a wonderfully relaxing experience and so rewarding, we have had school groups, Duke of Edinburgh Students, and also Princes Trust and National Citizens Groups as well as employee volunteering teams helping over the last few years."

Activity has started winding down now for winter, but the group will once again be out preparing the allotment in late January or early February next year.

Anyone who would like to get involved or find out more is asked to contact The Volunteer Centre on 01305 269214 or visit the website www.volunteeringdorset.org.uk