Monday, 10 August 2015

AirSpace Green - the Bee Friendly Garden

AirSpace Green is a series of projects which sees the gallery engaging with spaces in the city for nature:

For a while now, AirSpace Gallery has been embarking on a series of varied greenspace projects in the city. Exercises in placemaking and community involvement, and an awareness of the importance of a city's green eco-system have informed these projects and so far has seen the creation of a publicly-accessible Bird Yarden at the back of the Gallery and the acclaimed Spode Rose Garden, along with the creation of a special rose - the Spode China Rose.

Three further projects are being launched this week under the banner of AirSpace Green, including developing a series of garden green spaces - running a city centre gardening club for residents of The Portland Street Area, collaborating with city centre businesses to explore alternatives to the usual food sources, looking at ways to reduce food miles, and explore ethical and environmentally sustainable methods of growing food and working with The Friends of Hanley Park and Stoke's branch of the Womens' Institute, Let's Make Jam to develop a Bee Friendly Garden in Hanley Park.

Bee Friendly Garden

AirSpace have teamed up with The Friends of Hanley Park and WI's Let's Make Jam to transform an overgrown wildlife area of Hanley Park into a Bee Friendly Garden. With the funding help of 1000 Lives Community Champions, we identified more than a dozen varieties of plants attractive to bees, whose plight is in serious danger, as the UK's bee-numbers decline dramatically in the face of over-used pesticides and insectisides by the industrialised farming industry. Bees are responsible for the pollination of over 80% of the nations flower and foodcrops, and so simply put, no bees means no foods in our shops and on our tables. We are hoping to encourage people, no matter how small and inhospitable their growing spaces, to make room for some bee-attractive planting. to that end, at the Grand Opening of the Bee Friendly Garden on Saturday 15th August (12pm-3pm), we will be joined by North Staffordshire's Bee-keeping Association who will impart lots of their knowledge on the importance of Bees and how to go about attracting and sustaining them. Alongside this, there will be loads of family events, cakes and crafts to ensure a grand bee-friendly day out.

This Friday, we started the planting phase of the project, as more than 200 plants were introduced into a landscaping scheme designed by AirSpace's Anna Francis. We were heartened by the volunteer presence of Let's Make Jam members - of all ages! along with Carol from Friends of Hanley Park and Tom Pine - Parks Liaison Officer and some members of his volunteer team and a canine onlooker. We have one more planting and landscaping day left this Wednesday before the Grand Opening on Saturday 15th.

Landscaping and Planting

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