STOURBRIDGE eco group Transition Stourbridge is inviting people across the town to play a part in a new project to grow fruit trees in residential gardens.

As part of their ongoing endeavour to make Stourbridge a happier and healthier place to live they're encouraging everyone that is able to do so to grow a fruit tree in their garden.

Thanks to a grant of £500 from the Transition Network and the National Lottery Community Fund, the group will be giving away 25 to 30 fruit trees in the first phase of the project so anyone can take part in the scheme irrespective of the initial cost.

Apply online here.

A spokesman for Transition Stourbridge said: "Apart from the sheer joy of growing, picking and eating their own healthy fresh fruit and having the beauty of blossom - fruit trees convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and so are of great benefit to the environment.

"With so many health conditions being affected by poor air quality anything that can be done to reverse the situation is of benefit to us all.

"Everyone that is able to do so can play a part in making a difference simply by planting a tree.

"The more trees that are grown the greater the benefits will be to our town.

"Fruit trees contribute significantly to a healthier eco-system for wildlife, providing a home and food for a wide range of bees and insects."

The trees, which have been grown at an organic nursery in Worcestershire and are all heritage varieties, will be one to two-years-old and between one-and-a-half to two metres tall.

All but one variety of the trees to be offered will grow only to approximately four metres (13 feet) tall when mature.

The trees will be obtained during the first week of March and they will be distributed to recipients as quickly as possible to ensure each one is in best condition.

Residents will need to collect their tree from a distribution point in Norton. The trees have little or no side branches at this stage and will be able to fit into most vehicles.

Anyone who wants to take part in the scheme can register their interest by emailing, calling 07858 312 969 (between 9am and 6pm) or completing a paper application form from Eco Maniax in the Ryemarket shopping centre; or people can find out more online

The deadline for applications is March 3.

A donation or payment on a 'pay as you feel’ basis would be welcomed as it would allow more trees to be bought and distributed in the autumn and to help the scheme continue into the future.