FOR months harvesters have been lugging rucksacks of unused fruit about to give to needy communities in Oxford.

But with growing demand, Abundance Oxford is now building a bike trailer to take the weight off their shoulders.

Abundance Oxford, founded last autumn, takes unwanted fruit from private gardens to anyone in need and hosts food skill-sharing workshops.

But the not-for-profit group is trying to cope with a rise in popularity and this year’s promising harvest by creating its own eco-friendly bike trailer made from scrap parts.

Co-founder and chair, Dot Tiwari, said: “There is a lot of good fruit and the trailer will make it easier to transport.

“We’ve been having to carry heavy rucksacks or drive around in cars and this now means eco-friendly transport.

“It’s very exciting. We needed to up our game.”

But Miss Tiwari estimates that the amount of fruit will double thanks to the trailer and the fruit available after this year’s good weather.

The group, with permission, harvests fruit from residents’ gardens and does so sustainably by leaving enough for birds and insects and enough to rot back into the soil to replenish later crops.

Users include East Donnington Doorstep and The Porch’s Steppin’ Stone Centre for homeless people.

Nigel Northcott, director at the centre, said: “The bike trailer is a wonderful idea.

“It’s a travesty that so much food goes to waste and I hope Abundance’s work will continue to bring more buzz about recycling food in Oxford.”

Miss Tiwari helped organise the first bike building session in June with helpers including a man who only goes by the name of Stig.

She said: “We’re using old bike wheels found in skips, and wood and metal poles donated by supporters. We aim to finish it by August.”

The group is backed by CAG, Community Action Groups Oxfordshire.

Spokesman Peter Lefort said: “Abundance is fantastic and it’s good to see them doing so well.

Abundance Oxford hopes for funding from the O2 Think Big project in the future.

For more information about the project, visit