A pioneering scheme to harvest unwanted fruit from trees across will donate its produce to homeless shelters and nurseries.

The abundance project, run by environmental group Transition Town Kingston (TTK), is compiling a database of apple, pear and plum trees.

It plans to contact the owners of trees on private property to ask for permission to remove fruit they do not want, to prevent it going to waste.

Similar schemes have been run in Liverpool and Manchester, but the group wanted to try it out in a suburban area.

Project co-ordinator Elise Barron said: “There are lots of private fruit trees in the borough so the idea is to help reduce food waste and utilise the glut that takes place with apple and pear trees.

“Lots of people have trees in the garden but don’t know how to use them, and go to supermarkets to buy fruit.

“We will go around and harvest the glut and redistribute it around the borough.

“The project has multiple benefits. We are helping reduce Kingston’s carbon footprint.”

She asked anyone who knew of a fruit tree in the borough to contact the team, who will investigate who owns it. Anyone interested in volunteering to help collect the fruit to also get in touch.

TTK is also planning a series of community workshops to teach people how to prune and care for their fruit trees, and how to press apples to make apple juice.

Contact abundance@ttkingston.org or see ttkingston.org for information.