A GROUP promoting a sustainable future for Dor-chester has a double cause for celebration.

Transition Town Dorchester has been secured a patch of land to create a new community orchard.

The news comes after the organisation also received a donation of more than £1,000 from local comedy group Stand Up Dorchester.

The community orchard will be at former allotments at the Culliford Road end of Monmouth Road after land was granted under licence from Network Rail.

Secretary of Transition Town Dorchester Jenny Shackleford said: “We are really pleased to have secured this land after over a year of negotiation with Network Rail.

“We are beginning by clearing the land and will hope to involve anyone who might have an interest in taking the project forward.

“We will have work days and fun days to celebrate local food production and the particular ecosytem of orchards, many of which have disappeared from the Dorset landscape.”

She added: “We are also hugely grateful to Stand Up Dorchester for donating over a thousand pounds.

“Transition is a positive organisation so it is particularly good to be associated with a comedy club. It will give a great start to both the orchard and the farm development.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Network Rail is giving something back to the people of Dorchester by making these former allotments available for the community orchard project.

“We are one of Britain’s biggest landowners, but much of our land is not suitable for food growing, so we are pleased we can proceed with this scheme.

“This demonstrates our commitment to managing the railway in a sustainable way, whether this is for community projects or maintaining wildlife habitats.”

Anyone wishing to get involved in the community orchard can email farm@transitiontowndorchester.org