Friday, 16 August 2013

The Bird Yarden is a Winner




The culmination of The Bird Yarden project, which has been around 8 months, came yesterday as we were invited to Burnwood Nursery School for a presentation ceremony for the winners and runners-up  in Stoke-on-Trent's first Pride in our City Gardening Competition.

AirSpace Gallery won for The Bird Yarden, in the competition's Business category, and walked away with £100 gardening vouchers to be spent at Trentham Gardens Garden Centre.

It was gratifying to go along to the ceremony and see so many people passionate about transforming a variety of city spaces,
in both the private and public realm. There are many benefits to be gained from working with and reintroducing natural habitats into our cities, but of particular interest to us at the gallery is the transformation of brownfield sites into thriving natural ecosystems, and it was really interesting that a couple of the prizewinners were reintroducing a sense of the wildflower
meadow in to the city.

Our previously neglected and overgrown backyard now has an extra purpose, and is certainly being enjoyed by a large number of regular avian visitors. However, in a sense, the work is only just beginning, as the next step is to encourage people to want to use it. Of course, it will be used as a resource space for the Gallery, as a location for exhibitions, workshops, performances and socials. But we really want members of the public to know about it, and to come and use it in their leisure time, as a place to sit and think and enjoy.

That is the task for the next few months, but for now, we are enjoying our status of competition winners!! and we know that without the help of a few people it would not be possible.

So, in no particular order, we'd like to thank

  • The plant donors and advisers, Carol Britnell, Beryl Stoker, Carrie Pletscher, Shellie Gregory and Rachel Ballard.
  • Professor Chris Baines for agreeing to come and deliver the keynote talk at out opening, giving the event a real sense of gravitas, and of course for authoring our key research text, "How To Make A Wildlife Garden" which is still in print into its 3rd decade!
  • Clive Mollart and David Tideswell for their advice on gardening and birds and for being great knowledgeable contributors at our opening.
  • The artists whose works have given the Yarden a unique look - Pete R. Smith, Shellie Gregory, Cristina Fraser, Kate Lynch and Su Hurrel.
  • All the volunteers over the various incarnations of the project who have come and weeded and listened and talked and generally showed an interest in the project.

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