An actor from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series is set to join the community at a park at the bottom of Reading for a tree planting event.

The Whitley Orchard within  South Whitley Recreation Ground was established early last year as a place where neighbours will eventually be able to pick fruit.

Now more fruit trees are set to be planted at the orchard in partnership with Freely Fruity and Urban Planters.

Winston Ellis, an actor for the Pirates of the Caribbean films will be at the event in his role as ambassador for Freely Fruity.

Mr Ellis, who is from the Berkshire area, played Palicifo, Davies Jones’ bodyguard in the Disney pirate films, a gangster’s henchman in Batman film The Dark Knight, and also featured in episodes of TV series Dr Who and Holby City.

The planting of the trees which expands the orchard was subject to a public consultation held this year.

The positive response has been hailed by councillors Alice Mpofu-Coles and Micky Leng, both Labour representatives for Whitley.

Cllr Mpofu-Coles said: “Giving neighbours ownership and working with them is the most important thing we can do.

“We held a consultation because it’s up to the residents what trees they want in the orchard, they may really like apples, pears and floral trees.

Reading Chronicle: Councillors Micky Leng and Alice Mpofu-Coles, both Labour representatives for Whitley ward. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting ServiceCouncillors Micky Leng and Alice Mpofu-Coles, both Labour representatives for Whitley ward. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting Service

“It’s so that people have ownership of things that are done with them, not for them.

“It’s not from the top down, we want to work from the bottom up.”

Cllr Leng added: “Me and Alice live there, it’s our home, these things are important to us. We want to improve the places that we live.”

READ MORE: Park at the bottom of Reading benefits from new basketball court and play area

The planting that Mr Ellis will attend will take place this Saturday.

Explaining what trees will be planted, Robert Stirling, a council community development officer said: “There will be more fruit trees, they are likely to be apple, pear and cherry trees.

“All will be natural English fruit varieties, and we are also planting wildflowers there as well.

“The orchard is there for anyone to pick fruit, neighbours will be involved in the maintenance of it.

“There’s a really good community spirit, and we want to build on that.”

The orchard planting will take place from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, February 24.

READ MORE: Work steaming ahead on vital community centre for people in Whitley

As well as the orchard, willow trees are being planted at South Whitley Recreation Ground to alleviate flooding.

Cllr Leng said: “With politics, we are always guilty of short-termism, this isn’t short-termism, this is trying to fix a problem using the most eco-friendly way.

“When we are going round Whitley in the future with our walking sticks we’ll go ‘you don’t remember what it was like in the old days, this used to flood six inches deep’.

“That’s what we’re trying to do.”