GREEN-fingered families met at Slades Farm on a sunny Saturday morning to plant a new hedge at their community garden.

The group planted a mixture of hawthorn, blackthorn and holly for the outer part of the hedge, which will screen off the wildflower meadow part of the garden, with an inner row including rowan, birch and hazel.

The hedge is intended to add to the biodiversity of the garden site, while also screening it off from the busy path by the dog agility area, and the plants were funded by the Bournemouth Green Goals project, backed by AFC Bournemouth and other local businesses and institutions.

Other plants, including 420 smaller hawthorn and blackthorn shrubs, were donated by the Woodland Trust.

Volunteer Theresa McManus said: “We’re lucky to have such a lovely day today.

“This will be a functional hedge, defining the perimeter of the meadow area, and acting as a barrier, but also all the different plant species have been chosen to complement the meadow environment, encouraging birds and bees and butterflies.

“Eventually we will hopefully be able to harvest sloes, and make hawthorn jelly and rowan jelly, although I expect the squirrels will beat us to the hazel nuts.

“The main purpose of the garden is social, it brings the community together, but it is also low carbon and sustainable, and we want to show how people can grow their own food.

“In 20 years’ time we will all think how silly it is to import apples from New Zealand and beans from Kenya.”

Since the community garden was started in March 2012 some 180 people have got involved in planting and maintenance.