The 2014 Oxford Pumpkin Festival was a huge success so we’ve launched the #PumpkinChallenge - a way for you to bring the festival home in 2015. Squashing food waste this Halloween, and every Halloween after.

We've pulled together all of the tools, tips and tricks that made the 2014 Pumpkin Festival a success to create a simple guide that we can give away so you can do the same. From social media campaigns to the booking venues, from funding to insurance, everything is covered making it easy for you to get started. Whether you’re a student, local authority or a community growing group, the pumpkin challenge is for you.

Take on the #PumpkinChallenge

Interested in running one? Want to collaborate with an area already involved? Or want to nominate someone to take on the #PumpkinChallenge? Get in touch.

The #PumpkinChallenge is already popping up across the UK:

Why pumpkins? 

18,000 tonnes of pumpkins are dumped into holes in the ground each year at Halloween, so it’s the perfect time to talk about food waste. Last year UK households spent more than £300m during this period - just behind Christmas and Easter. Asda alone now sell more than 1 million pumpkins every Halloween.

If the commercialisation of Halloween comes from the USA, unfortunately we haven’t imported their tradition of eating pumpkin pie. We want to change this and make sure pumpkins are eaten rather than dumped. We believe 2015 can be the start of a new culture at Halloween ensuring that people have a great time without causing unnecessary food waste. But to do this we need your help.

Why run a pumpkin festival in your area?

  • Be one of the leaders in a pioneering new food waste initiative.
  • Follow a tried and tested model which proved hugely successful in Oxford.
  • Host inspiring, engaging events for local people – you could give as many as 2,000 people the chance to do good, meet others and learn new skills.
  • Take advantage of template promotional materials.
  • Collaborate and work together other local groups on this issue.
  • Opportunity for extensive local media coverage.
  • Be part of a wider national campaign, coordinated by Hubbub.
  • Benefit from a coordinated social media campaign.
  • Reduce food waste - based on the Oxford results, 15 festivals across the UK could stop 50 tonnes of food going to waste.


Follow the story of the first Pumpkin Rescue on social media using the hashtag #PUMPKINRESCUE and #PUMPKINCHALLENGE.


Booking for this event has now closed.