The Harvest Share project saves unwanted fruit from going to waste: volunteers get together to have fun and pick a variety of fruits (mostly apples!) from gardens and orchards, before distributing them to places around the community. Surplus fruit goes to making fine juices and preserves for sale. Our volunteers report a greater sense of well-being by helping to make the project a success.

Last year, Harvest Share was a huge success. We’ll let the figures tell you:

-          22 volunteers, 8 regular volunteers

-          13 sessions over 10 weeks

-          790 kilos of fruit shared

-          1000 miles of delivery with zero emissions

-          15 recipient organisations

-          10 different locations for picking

-          1 apprentice placement

-          6965 minutes of volunteering

-          500+ individuals benefited

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The first session of Green Therapy gets off to a great start at Lifeways garden with three groups enjoying gardening and art. Here, the enthusiastic art class make felt bees led by Lisa Yardley and Lani in a lively and fun filled class. Our gardeners, led by Keith, Dave and Mandy plant peas and organise planting in the garden. Then to cap it all, James and Jack make a delicious nettle soup for all to enjoy! The sessions are free thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Heart Research UK and Subway. The sessions run every Friday at 11.30 or 14.00. Email mandy.berry@hotmail.co.uk or call 07403 749819 to book your place.

Danone get down to earth!

Thanks to a wonderful team effort from Danone, and the Where Next Project we now have a fabulous herb garden in the Forest Garden at Stratford upon Avon. The herbs will provide rich sources of nectar for our bees which are supported by The Heart of England Community Fund and Awards for All. Also we send a BIG thanks to Rob and Dan from HG Heath and Sons for the tyres!

The Danone team successfully completed a number of important tasks for the Forest of Hearts and we now have a lovely herb bed, a painted barn, lots of bee hotels, a 3km walking trail map, ideas for marketing our services, a base for our beekeeper shed and our newly painted fete games ready to raise much needed funds for the Forest Garden. 

Team building and saving the bees!

Thanks to the wonderful and energetic teams from RCMA, Dawnus and Camgrain, the bees are saved in the Bard's birthplace. Teams enjoyed a treasure hunt with a difference around Stratford upon Avon on a lovely sunny day. With generous support from RCMA and money is being used to support the apiary in the Forest of Hearts, where thousands of bees in our new beehives are busy pollinating plants and preparing honey for sale later in the year.

Singing in the rain with Jaguar Land Rover PR Team

A HUGE thank you to all volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover PR Team who help us with a range of rainy day projects, including making gabion baskets, creating new fete games and sawing logs to fill our bee hotels! The biggest success was braving the non-stop wet & cold to paint the inside of our barn, which will be used as a space for recreation and education.

Thank you to everyone who demonstrated great initiative, the benefit of team work and good humour. Your time and support has helped us to make great progress.
If you register to become a Co-op member today, you can nominate us as your charitable cause and 1% of all Co-op purchases will go to supporting us! https://membership.coop.co.uk/register
Thank you!

Finding inspiration at Martineau Gardens

Thanks to the wonderful team at the lovely Martineau Gardens we enjoy an inspirational guided tour from Caroline Hutton who generously shares her experience and insight into what it takes to create and maintain a a thriving community garden. We wish you every success for the next 20 years!


We are buzzing following a donation from a South Midlands housebuilder.    The Forest of Hearts community project has received a £1,000 donation from Persimmon Homes South Midlands, as part of a Community Champions scheme, which will help to fund its first bee hives.

“The bee hives will be a new feature for next year. They will be managed by an official bee keeper and we will work with the British Bee Keeper Association to help establish an educational area for the public. “Persimmon Homes’ donation has enabled us to launch our bee hive project much earlier than expected.

Tree planting in Stratford upon Avon



Ready, steady, grow!

We are delighted to work with the teams at Hereward College and the Where Next project, where young people propagate a selection of herbs that will be planted in the Spring.

Love food - hate waste? Here's Harvest Share!

If you can't stand to see food wasted, and think the idea of supermarkets throwing away tonnes of perfectly edible fruit (but not perfect sizes or shapes) is a bit crazy, you will love the Harvest Share project.  In just three hours work we save over 120 kilos of apples from going to waste. Volunteers welcome at Anne Hathaway's Cottage from 10am-noon every Saturday until mid October. Register your interest here.

Harvest Share is as a result of the hard work done by Roger Matthews and Barbara Cooper at Transition Stratford and brings together an enthusiastic team of volunteers to pick, sort and distribute fruit from orchards and gardens in Stratford upon Avon. Thanks to Jon, Stephen, Ann Louise, David, Maureen, Annette, Ursula and Robin for the help in sending out the 120 kilos to well deserving local groups. Over the last two days we have picked fruit at Anne Hathaways Cottage and a private garden at near to Ettington. Jack Lloyd and the team at the Forest of Hearts are delighted to be able to co-ordinate this enjoyable and useful activity that means that good food gets used and enjoyed by the local community. A sustainable project that does good and makes people feel good!


Show gardens are go with NCS Challenge!

The enterprising team from NCS Challenge raise much needed funds for the Forest of Hearts and create two show gardens on the site at Stratford upon Avon. Here they are in fancy dress in Leamington Spa spreading the word about the new Forest Garden. The inspiring message which prompts many local residents to show their support is that the garden will be completely accessible and open to all.

The onion shed is clear and the path to the pond appears

Thanks to the lovely enthusiastic team of volunteers from the Forest of Hearts, the onion shed at Anne Hathaway's Cottage is now clean and tidy and ready for the Harvest Share. Well done to Jack, Annette, Ann, Lynne and Emily for all your hard work. Harvest Share begins in two weeks and will collect and distribute around a tonne of fruit which would otherwise go to waste in the orchard at the childhood home of Shakespeare's wife.

Also thanks to Yvonne, Katrin, Carol and Mark who joined the team back at the Stratford upon Avon Forest Garden to prepare lengths of material which will serve as mulch to keep down the weeds. The recycled banner material is also used to mar out a path to the pond site. The pond will be dug before the end of the year at the same time as the trench is dug to provide water to the site. Thanks again to all concerned with supporting the creation of our first forest garden and the Harvest Share project in Stratford upon Avon.

Many hands make light work

A team of graduates from Jaguar Land Rover give up their time for a CSR awayday in The Forest of Hearts.  Nearly 50 young and enthusiastic engineers make light work of planting over 1000 trees during their volunteering day. By creating the hedgerows the team can rest assured that they will provide shelter, create a windbreak and encourage wildlife, whilst growing berries, sloes, rose hips and nuts in the new forest garden near to Stratford upon Avon.

Thanks to Lani and the team at Coventry Ikea who raised funds to support the tree planting which meant that The Woodland Trust are able to supply the native hedgerow at no cost to The Forest of Hearts.

When you want to make a difference

This week has brought so many generous volunteers into the open and into our field! We salute the people who want to do something useful by planting hedgerows in our new 5 acre forest garden near to Stratford upon Avon. Also, we are grateful to the army of people who are involved in creating edible gardens for good. It's at times like this that you know you are making a difference. Special thanks this week goes to Stuart at Firefly AI for his brilliant aerial shots of a forest garden in the making.

Want to be a part of something special?

If you want to be a part of something special then join us on our magical journey to create a five-acre edible garden near to Stratford upon Avon.  Have a look at the ten key numbers that will make a real difference this year. If you need to get out more - get involved!

There are opportunities for tree planting, teambullding, hedge planting, laying paths and we also digital skills. Contact carolelongden@forestofhearts.com or cal 02476470382 for more details.