Category Archives: Projects

CommUNITY Actions

The aim of the new project, Community Actions (CA), is to build healthy, resilient lifestyles, as well as self reliance and social cohesion within disadvantaged and less resilient communities of Middlesbrough, using a whole system approach to sustainable living. This will be achieved through a programme of support using the One Planet Living sustainability principles as a tool to help local people deliver community led actions to address poverty and improve communal spaces by realising and building upon their community assets.

There will be two key elements of the project:

1. Empowering people so they are able to use their knowledge, skills and lived experiences to improve their own lives and the lives of others.

This will be achieved through a community developed network of support, activities and training and a peer to peer early intervention model to help people experiencing challenging issues, such as isolation, poor physical and mental health or food and fuel poverty, signposting them to additional support. An active support network of volunteers, residents and stakeholders will be developed, bringing people together within and across communities to build stronger relationships and building social cohesion, more sustainable and resilient communities.

2. It will provide support and resources to community groups to develop their own initiatives or actions which will have a positive impact on the social, environmental and health needs of the community.

This will help to increase people’s sense of investment and involvement in where they live and supporting their community to live more sustainably. This will allow communities to kick start or invigorate existing initiatives, allowing communities to do what they do best; work within their local area and with their peers to deliver effective activities that make a real difference. The actions will come from the community and will be owned and delivered by the community. This will allow people to flourish, with communities utilising the assets they have to deliver change that they want to see happen.

Patchwork Orchard Map

The fruit trees and fruit shrubs identified in this map have been reported by the general public and not necessarily verified by landowner.

This map should only act as a guide to where fruit can be found, and unless otherwise stated, permission must be gained from the landowner before you enter any land and pick any fruit. Middlesbrough Environment City does not accept any responsibility for damage, trespassing, injury and/ or taking of fruit.

To filter the map based on variety of fruit, click  and select/deselect accordingly.

Middlesbrough Patchwork Orchard

The Community Patchwork Orchard Project aims to bring more free, fresh and healthy fruit to the people of Middlesbrough.

Across Middlesbrough are a number of public sites, easily accessible to the public, where fruit trees and fruit bushes are growing. Unfortunately, they may not have been appropriately maintained and managed and may require some TLC, such as pruning and maintenance. Likewise, these sites are often missed by the public, who may not know which fruit trees and bushes are safe to forage.

The Community Patchwork Orchard Project aims to bring more free, fresh and healthy fruit to the people of Middlesbrough by:

  • Mapping fruit trees, bushes and other foraging spots which people can access easily and safely for their own use.
  • Harvesting and distributing surplus fruit to the people who need it most.
  • Helping people learn how to look after their own trees and those closest to them.
  • Creating new areas of patchwork orchards for future communities.

You can help us to accomplish our goals by:

  • Telling us when you find a fruit tree, bush or other foraging spot so we can add it to our map.
  • Learn new skills, whether helping to care for trees, harvest fruit and more.
  • Let us know about the communities that could benefit from free, healthy food.
  • Share what you know with others to help them gain vital skills.

On top of this, we also have a number of opportunities for volunteering, providing advice, support and training in areas such as healthy cooking skills and maintenance of trees.

Middlesbrough Food Partnership

Middlesbrough Food Partnership aims to make the town a place where local people can eat good quality, healthy food that is easy to buy, offers value for money and is produced locally wherever possible.

The choices that we all make about food have far reaching consequences for our health, well-being, the environment and the prosperity of the town. Food is a valuable resource and people should have the opportunity to eat healthy and sustainable food that is easier to buy and offers value for money. We operate in three key areas: Business, People and Environment.


The Food Partnership will support local businesses and settings to procure and provide healthy and sustainable food to boost local prosperity, encourage healthy eating and protect the environment.


The Food Partnership will inspire and enable the local food culture so that all residents have access to buy, grow, produce and cook affordable, affordable, healthy and sustainable food.

Individuals, businesses and households can view how to help here.


The Food Partnership will help residents and businesses to minimise, recycle and compost food related waste either individually or collectively to increase sustainability of local food.

Middlesbrough’s Food Charter

The Food Charter helps guide households and organisations to take positive actions towards the shared goals of the Food Action Plan. Please consider what you can do to help and show your support by signing the Food Charter and committing to the aims of the Plan.

By September 2018, 23 businesses/organisations and 48 individuals had pledged their support to the Middlesbrough Food Charter and for the town to have quality healthy local food.  For a full list, please click the ‘Middlesbrough Food Charter’ image above.

Middlesbrough’s Food Action Plan

In 2010-11, Middlesbrough Environment City co-ordinated the development and launch of a town-wide Food Action Plan. The Food Action Plan was influenced by Middlesbrough’s innovative Healthy Town programme, the One Planet Living framework and public health priorities.

Since then, Middlesbrough has been designated One Planet Living status, with a work programme to help local people live healthier and more sustainable lives in a way that often saves money.

The Middlesbrough Food Partnership continues to review Middlesbrough’s town-wide approach to food. The Partnership has identified a number of shared priorities and actions that can be taken to make sure Middlesbrough has a more sustainable and secure food future. The actions are summarised in the Food Action Plan, which can be found by clicking the image below. The Food Action Plan provides a way for all residents and businesses to get involved in sustainable food.


Sustainable Food Cities – Silver Award

In 2011, a UK Sustainable Food Cities network was established that promotes and supports the development of cross-sector partnerships committed to working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. In 2014 Middlesbrough became an active member of this network. In 2017 Middlesbrough received the Sustainable Food Cities Bronze Award in recognition of the achievements of the Middlesbrough Food Partnership. Our bronze application can be found here.

Over the years, the Middlesbrough Food Partnership has been developing a highly effective holistic whole system approach to addressing the food related needs of the town, building on successes and best practice, and broadening the range of interventions. In 2019 Middlesbrough became one of only four location in the country to be awarded the Sustainable Food Cities’ ‘Silver Award’. This is a significant accolade for the town and the Food Partnership, and puts Middlesbrough in a distinct group of locations that are leading the way in transforming their food culture and local food system. To read all of the fantastic initiatives and interventions, click here.

The Silver Award, and the Food Action Plan would not have been possible without the valuable and ongoing contributions of the people, community groups and organisations that have supported and are involved in the Middlesbrough Food Partnership.

If you would like to find out more about how to get involved in the Middlesbrough Food Partnership, please contact