A COMMUNITY orchard has been protected forever 99 years after it was given to the local council.

Celebrations to mark the designation of Taunton's Frieze Hill Community Orchard as a Centenary Field in Trust are being staged on Sunday.

The Apple Day event, from 2pm to 5pm, will feature a re-enactment of the giving of the land in 1918 for local people to grow food during the shortages caused by the First World War.

Cllr Catherine Herbert, Taunton Deane's executive member for sports, parks and leisure, will unveil a plaque to mark the occasion.

There will also be apple juicing - people are asked to take their own apples and plastic bottles too - an apple and produce stall and local cider to sample.

The orchard was set up in 2003 by a group of locals on land that used to form part of the adjacent allotments.

It was originally conveyed to the council at the end of the First World War by Henry Gribble Turner and the conveyance contains a restrictive covenant that the land can only be used for food production.

Mr Turner was concerned about food shortages and wanted to provide somewhere where local people could grow their own.

The land was unused for some time until the community orchard was established and it now has more than 150 trees, many donated by local people to celebrate a new life or remember another.

The annual wassail ceremony, to ensure a good crop of apples, is being held there on Saturday, January 13.