IT STARTED off as one lone tree on a drive in Amesbury but in the space of a few days 20 more have sprung up.

Community mask trees have been created by volunteer sewers to provide free cloth face coverings to anyone who might need one.

The initiative was launched last week by Amesbury resident Naomi Betts who, after seeing people in Czech Republic take up a similar project, shared the idea with fellow members of the Salisbury Makers Hub Facebook group.

The initiative has been so popular it has completely taken off.

"I put a picture of my tree up on Facebook and we completely sold out," she said.

"We've been working constantly, my neighbour Sandra Hentsridge has cut out hundreds of masks for me and myself and my daughter Rhiannon Betts have been sewing the entire weekend. 230 masks have since gone up, it's been crazy, non-stop.

"As I share more things on Facebook people have got their own mask trees, stands, whatever works for them and 21 are already up and running or in production."

Salisbury Journal: Naomi Betts, 46, with her daughter Rhiannon, 22, in their sewing room in London RoadNaomi Betts, 46, with her daughter Rhiannon, 22, in their sewing room in London Road

Trees, most of which are made using coat stands, can be found in Amesbury (on Naomi's drive on London Road and outside the Community Centre), Salisbury, Harnham, Laverstock, Porton, Downton, Tidworth, Bishopdown, Dinton and other places.

Members of the public are welcome to take masks for free, however a £2 donation to cover the costs of materials such as elastic is suggested.

As trees grow in popularity and more and more people take advantage of their presence, Naomi is appealing for those who can to help produce masks.

"We really need people who can sew to volunteer to keep the trees stocked up. We can provide fabric and elastic so it's only their time that we need."

To help residents find out where their nearest tree is, volunteers are looking to launch an interactive map while to allow more people to sew their own masks, 10-year-old Beatrix James, from Salisbury, also a member of Salisbury Makers Hub, has been compiling and sharing instructions for DIY kits.

"This morning there were three people queuing before I even put the tree outside and it's empty already. Between yesterday and today we did 70 masks between the three of us.

"It's tough but hopefully now that we have so many of these trees going up and now that we're launching instructions and a map, demand might ease."

Talking about the impact trees have had in the community, Naomi added: "You don't even think something this little is going to make such a big difference.

"So many people are worried about going back to work or their children going back to school and taking the bus, it's given people confidence to go back out."

For more information on the trees and how to get involved email