In 2015 #PumpkinRescue Festivals swept the country and also took root across the pond.

The #PumpkinRescue is a celebration of food, one set on carving up Halloween conventions by giving good reason to combat the 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin that we waste each Halloween.

It all began with the 2014 Oxford Pumpkin Festival. This went down a storm and in 2015 20 towns and cities across the UK have used our 'how to' guide to set up their own events.

Thanks to the power of social media, the idea has also taken seed in the States bearing fruit to a festival in New Jersey which straddled 3 counties, including the historically rich town of Salem. Critics say Salem are keen to replace their reputation of hunting witches with rescuing pumpkins. 

See what was happening near you

  • Adur & Worthing
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Bonar Bridge
  • Bournemouth
  • Bristol
  • Bradford
  • Bruton, Somerset
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Cambridge
  • Cardiff
  • Inverness
  • London
  • London (North)
  • Leeds 
  • Maidstone
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle 
  • New Jersey
  • Norwich
  • Oxford
  • Plymouth
  • Salford
  • Suffolk
  • Stirling
  • Salford

Full Listings of 2015 #PumpkinRescue Festivals


West Sussex County Council
Planting across the town, mass pumpkin lunch on Worthing Seafront. Find out more here.

Footprints Women’s Centre
Creepy Cookery and Magical garden for families, Tackling Food Waste Workshopwhat to do with a pumpkin & other seasonal veg. Find out more here.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth
Halloween Harvest Festival in Digbeth Community Garden, 12-5pm on Saturday 31st October. Including composting, nature trail, pumpkin carving and seed swaps. Food by the Real Junk Project.

Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust
Pumpkin soup, carving, growing, recipes and more at the Bonar Bridge Community Hall, 11am-2pm on Saturday 24th October. Contact Greening Kyle for more info.


Bournemouth & Poole Sustainable Food City Partnership
A community meal, pumpkin carving and a few themed competitions. Find out more here.

Bradford Council
Bradford Food and Drink Festival will be gifting pumpkin recipes to fresh fruit and veg stalls and cook and eat sessions, raising awareness of simple recipes which are provided by Jamie Oliver’s food team using a pumpkin. Join them on social media #Pumpkinrescue #GFAS @Bradford_MOF @bradfordmdc 

Made in Bristol, University of BristolBristol 2015 LabSquare Food Foundation, Bristol Hub
Food waste workshops, students and retailers getting involved with city wide events including talks from local chefs and food waste campaigners. Find out more here.

Hauser and Wirth Somerset & FACE  – Farming & Countryside Education
A community celebration of local produce, live music and free activities for all the family. Pumpkin carving competition and best pumpkin bake, as well as seasonal treats and recipes from the Roth Bar & Grill. Find out more here.

Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire
Follow their feed for tips to reduce food waste this Halloween.

Cambridge Sustainable Food
23rd October to 7th November. Sustainable food feasts, disco soup, pop-up stalls, pumpkin carving, pay-as-you-feel cafe, cooking workshops and lots more. For children and adults - many events are free. Find out more here.

Transition Cardiff
Find out more here.

Zero Waste Inverness
Follow their feed for tips to reduce food waste this Halloween. 

Foundation for International Education
Follow their feed for tips to reduce food waste this Halloween.

Practical Action
Pumpkins can be grown on the barren sandbars created by river deposits in Bangladesh, providing a livelihood for marginalised farmers. Practical Action will be raising awareness of their pumpkins against poverty campaign in Spitalfields, London on the 30th October. Find out more here.

North London Waste Authority
Where ever you are in London there's something for you at this Halloween's #PumpkinRescue. Find out what's going on in your neighbourhood & join thousands around the UK in becoming a Gourdian Angel. Find out more here.

Armley Real Junk Food Project 
Find out more here.

Maidstone Borough Council
Help squash food waste and join us for tips and tricks to re-use your pumpkin this Halloween.
Maidstone Market, Lockmeadow 27th October 
The Mall, Pads Hill, Maidstone 28th and 29th October


Manchester Real Junk Food Project are partnering with The Wonder Inn to host a huge Halloween ball with a food waste twist. They will be serving up surplus on a pay-as-you-feel donation basis.
The Wander Inn, 31st October
Find out more here


Food Newcastle 
Kicks off with an outdoor mass participation community cooking class. Community centres will be cooking up pumpkin soup, baking bread and, carving lanterns. Food Newcastle will host talks on food waste and cooking skills, accompanied by a Pumpkin Beer. Families will help carve over 1,000 pumpkins at an arty bonanza hosted by The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. Plus Newcastle’s Pay As You Feel café will lead a mass central Disco Soup.
Find out more here. 

Library Seed Bank 
Don't Waste the Harvest Festival & Barn Dance. New Jersey is taking the #pumpkinchallenge head on! A 21st century version of a harvest festival with a local pumpkin farmer demonstrating the wide variety of pumpkins and squashes and the many culinary and nutritional uses of the. Spooktacular squashes and pretty pumpkins that are painted, not carved, where the nontoxic paint can easily wash off, and the art becomes dinner or dessert, not waste. Plus seeds, chickens, bees, composting and fermenting. All topped off with a barn dance. Find out more here.

Slow Food Norwich & Norwich City Council
Alongside Slow Food Norwich, Norwich City Council is supporting the Great Pumpkin Rescue by promoting using the inside of the pumpkin to cook up some tasty treats over the festive period. After Halloween when the carved pumpkin has served it's spooky purpose, it can be put into the council's food waste caddy and taken away with the usual household food waste. Simple!

Find out more here.

Good Food Oxford 
Oxford hosted the first ever Pumpkin Festival in 2014, and this year is back for second helpings with gourd-geous carvings, feasts, tours, music and more! Find out more here. 

Plymouth Food Waste Partnership
A party for local food waste campaigners, pumpkin collections and Halloween-themed community events across the city. Find out more here.

Disco Soup heads to the iconic Salford Lads Club for a pumpkin-themed mass soup cook-up (to the sounds of The Smiths) on Saturday November 7th, 12-4. 
Please email Charlie Spring to find out more (or if you have surplus pumpkins/veg to donate).

Suffolk County  Council
Follow their feed for tips to reduce food waste this Halloween.

Forth Environment Link
Find out more here. 
A Harvest Fortnight with activities and stalls relating to pumpkins and their uses, special dishes being offered in local eateries, along with other celebrations relating to non pumpkin harvests.

Relive the #PumpkinRescue on TwitterInstagram & Facebook, explore our Storify

Interested in running a #PumpkinRescue in 2016? Shoot us an email!