A PIONEERING community growing project in Middlesbrough is going from strength to strength.

Launched earlier this year, Middlesbrough Environment City’s Community Patchwork Orchard project is bearing fruit – but there’s plenty of scope for more people to get involved.

The project aims to link together Middlesbrough’s existing fruit trees and orchards and provide an abundance of fruit available to residents for free.

Organisers are on the look-out for new orchard sites, and are offering free training to help people make the most of the natural riches on their doorsteps.

The aim is to make Middlesbrough a Fruity Town by bringing more free, fresh and healthy fruit to people across the town.

The Patchwork Orchard helps to distribute surplus fruit to those who need it, training people to look after their own fruit trees and mapping accessible fruit trees across the town so that people know where they can find fruit.

Organisers are keen to hear of publicly accessible fruit trees across the town, and are on hand to help people learn how to care for and maintain their own fruit trees.

MEC Community Enabler Catherine Howell said: “There’s an abundance of fruit growing across Middlesbrough, but sadly too much of it is simply going to waste.

“We’d love to hear from anyone involved with a school, community group or local food enterprise that could use extra fruit – it’s a great way of making people’s diets more sustainable and healthy, and minimising food waste.”

The Community Patchwork Orchard initiative is funded by a Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ grant through the One Planet Middlesbrough: Creating Sustainable Communities project, managed by Middlesbrough Environment City.