A GARDENER is calling on growers across the country to share the fruits of their labours and stop mountains of food going to waste.

Sharon Hockenhull, from Harwood, is the brains behind a new national scheme that could see free fruit handed out all over the UK.

She says many gardeners grow more than they can ever consume and she has set up a new website encouraging and helping people to share their surplus.

Sharon, aged 35, said: “I have been discussing the idea with Nick, my husband, for a while.

“I have customers who have fruit trees in their gardens which produce fruit year after year — too much for one family to cope with.

“This must be happening across the uk.”

Sharon, who runs Plantswoman Gardening Services from her home in Bramhall Avenue, has set up the website for people around the country to register with her FruitShare scheme.

There is a map which helps people who would like to enjoy some free fruit to find local gardeners with surplus.

Then, on FruitShare Weekend on October 24 and 25, growers can leave their excess apples and pears outside their home, ready to be collected or can use the weekend as an excuse for a social occasion, welcoming visitors and showing them the garden.

Sharon is passionate about fruit and has won accolades for the fruit-themed garden she created at the RHS Tatton Show last month.

“Compared to vegetables, fruit is so easy to grow and making your garden more resourceful is the way things are going to go,” she said.

“I am confident FruitShare will get a good reception, as there are so many benefits — from reducing food miles to meeting new friends, and that’s not to mention the delicious crumbles and pies that can be enjoyed.”

Sharon is hoping to expand the scheme to encourage people to share fruits that are in season at other times of year, such as rhubarb and summer berries.

To find out more about FruitShare and how to register visit the website fruitshare.co.uk.