A new initiative is seeing Banbury schoolchildren become volunteer tree wardens.

Pupils from St Leonard’s primary school have planted six trees as part of a broader project, aiming to create an orchard, providing the community with free fruit.

Assisted by town park rangers and Banbury Trees group, the students started the project, planting a mix of pear, apple, plum, cherry, and a crab apple, and will now look after them for two years.

thisisoxfordshire: The children, town park rangers, and Banbury Trees group membersThe children, town park rangers, and Banbury Trees group members (Image: Tila Rodriguez)

The latter will help the pollination of surrounding apple trees and nourish wildlife, with three of the trees being endangered species heritage varieties.

These trees contribute to a 60-tree orchard planned by Banbury Town Council, which will be part of an initiative honouring King Charles III’s coronation.

Over a million trees have been planted nationally so far.

Opportunities remain for residents to join this project and assistance is sought in planting and maintaining trees in various town locations.

Martin Phillips, chairman of the council’s general services committee, said: "This is a wonderful project that townspeople are becoming part of and single people, families, clubs, schools, older people’s associations, etc can all be wardens."

He added: "The trees are all on open land and in due course, residents will be able to help themselves to free fruit."

“Everything the wardens need will be provided – it’s just tender loving care that is required.”