A MUCH-LOVED store set up thanks to community spirit has celebrated a special birthday.

Radley Village Shop marked its 10 year milestone by officially opening a mini herb garden, which residents can use freely once the plants have fully grown.

The volunteer-run shop opened in 2007 after a community fundraising campaign following the closure of the previous shop in the village, near Abingdon.

Bob Earl, chairman of the shop's management committee, said: "The shop serves the community – it does what it says on the tin.

"People are pleased for us that we've made it to 10 years. We've obviously got our regular customers and we are grateful that they keep supporting us.

"Our volunteers are most important – without them, the shop could not exist."

He joined those volunteers and shop manager John Goodenough for a birthday party on Monday, when the shop was decorated with colourful bunting and stocked with cakes for customers.

The new herb garden was planted by volunteers just outside the entrance in Church Road, complete with outdoor seating for residents to rest on.

Mr Earl, who lives in Radley, said: "It's a community space. The shop is still very much a hub and I know generally it would be badly missed if it had to close.

"The shop has developed over the years, we've managed to improve the internal layout to create more space and bring in new chillers. We've invested in it as much as we can."

The store sells stationery, newspapers and postcards as well as food items, and staff make an effort to source products locally where possible.

It opened after the previous shop was demolished and redeveloped into flats, as the developer was given the condition that it had to provide a replacement retail unit.

The space stood empty for years until a mystery benefactor of the village shop campaign bought it, and offered it for free until the shop's management committee was able to buy the lease.

Radley is set for hundreds more homes as part of Vale of White Horse District Council's development plan, and Radley Parish Council's own vision for development could see the shop expand into a new location to meet demand.

But Mr Earl, who chairs the Radley Village Shop Association, said: "It's very much in the early stages."

He said more volunteers are needed to keep the shop open seven days a week, encouraging people to join the 'friendly team' and meet new people.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the shop can call 01235 526231.