ALMOST 400 people packed out Chard’s Guildhall as the town’s first ever vegan fair was held.

The venue was packed to its edges for the April 20 event, which saw vegan friendly food, arts, crafts and plants on sale.

The event was opened in style by the Chard’s crier, Stuart Cumming, who himself has been a vegan for 23 years.

He said: “This is a vegantastic event, one of the largest indoor markets we have seen for years inside the Guildhall.

“It is a very positive event for our town.”

Visitors came to from as far as Plymouth, and holiday makers from as far afield as Wales and Scotland also took a look around.

The organiser of the event was Helen Roberts, of the Flour Pot Vegan Bakery, who is also a trustee for reforestation charity The Word Forest Organisation.

The fair was a fundraiser for the charity and brought in more than £1,200, which will enable them to plant more than 500 trees and buy building materials for a new classroom too.

Helen said: “Taking care of our planet has never been more prevalent in the news.

“David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg have explained that planting trees is one of the easiest ways we can do it.

“Well done Chard for getting 500 new trees in the ground and cleaning the air we breathe all over the world.”

The core team at Word Forest are passionate environmentalists and comprise of vegans and vegetarians. The charity frequently has fundraising stalls at events like this in the South West.

Tracey West is The Word Forest Organisation’s chief executive.

She added: “If you want to leave a lighter footprint on the planet, one of the best ways to do it, is by embracing a plant-based lifestyle.

“Once you lift the lid on the subject and find out that there are animal products in so many things, including sweets, wine and spirits, even orange juice, people often find themselves on a bit of a mission to understanding why and seek alternatives.”

Chair of trustees, Simon West, said: “Trees planted in the world’s tropical zones near the equator, like ours in Boré, Kenya, grow incredibly quickly, faster than anywhere else on the planet.

“Not only do they do a great job of reducing CO2 and other pollutants from the atmosphere, but the commodities from the forest help relieve poverty and hunger too.”