Date: 
Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 11:06

Britain is breaking out the bunting and barbecues for the second annual Big Lunch on Sunday 18 July 2010. Across the country, neighbours are coming together to decorate their streets and gardens, and plan food and entertainment ahead of the community get-together kick-started by the Eden Project.

In all four corners of the UK, people are organising events ranging from a simple bring-your-own picnic with a couple of neighbours to a full-blown street party. Big Lunches are taking place in the far north of the Shetland Isles and the far south of Jersey, and stretch from County Down in Northern Ireland to Great Yarmouth in the East of England.

  • The Cowgate estate in Newcastle is gearing up for its second Big Lunch, with sack races, a bouncy castle and fruit and veg growing demonstrations.
  • A community in King’s Heath, Birmingham, is pulling together in the wake of several arson attacks to offer a Big Lunch with free ice cream for kids, games and music.
  • In Truro, Cornwall, neighbours are laying on a traditional street party with trestle tables and barrels of beer, as well as a charity bring-and-buy sale.
  • Residents from the scattered rural community of Traquair and Glen in Scotland’s Peeblesshire will be converging for a Big Lunch for the second year.
  • In Tufnell Park, north London, residents are bringing their national dish and rigging up flags, to celebrate the 30 or so different nationalities living in the street.

Holidaymakers say they are planning on celebrating the day with friends and locals in beautiful locations including the Seychelles and the Balearic Islands.

The best part of a million people took part in the first ever Big Lunch, last year, and it’s hoped that many more will join them on Sunday 18th July.

“The Big Lunch has the potential to build stronger, friendlier communities on a massive scale,” says Peter Stewart, Eden’s Campaigns and Communications Director.

He organised an event in his own neighbourhood last year and says: “The morning after a Big Lunch has a feeling like no other. You walk down the street where, yesterday, people were eating, chatting, playing instruments, skateboarding and cooking on barbecues. The whole place feels different. I feel different.”

There is still time to take part in the nationwide event on Sunday 18 July – people can search for a local Big Lunch using their postcode, or start their own, at www.thebiglunch.com.