Banbury residents come together for community gardening event
Residents came together for a bee hotel making event held at the Bridge Street Garden (BSG) in Banbury.
The event, held last Saturday September 18, was hosted by Banbury Community Action Group (BCAG) and Wild Banbury and helps mark the launch of the Great Big Green Week.
Assisted by Wild Banbury (WB) volunteers and members of Banbury Community Action Group (BCAG), local children and their parents, made a beautiful bee hotel and bug shelter out of repurposed pallets, cans, scaffolding boards, canes, branches, and natural, found materials.
Harriet Jordan from Wild Banbury said: “We support the people of Banbury in taking action for wildlife. We believe there is a need for more nature everywhere: engagement with the natural world is good for people and good for the planet too. If we each take steps to make space for wildlife in our gardens and open spaces, then, together as a community, we can halt the decline in the health of the environment, and at the same time promote our own wellbeing.”
Several local environmentalists wore giant animal head/masks featuring endangered animal species joined in the activities. As well as building the hotel, they helped with several gardening tasks at the community garden, and walked around Banbury town centre before heading to Oxford to join the "Walk for Life on Earth" march organised by Friends of the Earth Oxford.
Jill Oakes, said, "I decided to create a hare head/mask for the endangered species walk. This is because hares are considered game animals which means that they are hunted. I believe that hunting and coursing are both cruel and pointless. I want to raise this issue on a day when we are celebrating the natural world.”
Jim Smith, chair for BCAG who was also at the garden, said: “We are a local group of volunteers who are working on a range of environmental and community projects ranging from the Bridge Street Garden (BSG) and Browning Road Community Orchard, encouraging cycling and walking in Banbury, Give & Take and repair cafe events amongst many others. Find out what’s on from our website or Facebook page: https://banburycag.org.uk My mask represented the 50 per cent loss of insect populations in the last 50 years.”
Tila Rodriguez Past, who helped organise the event at the Bridge Street Garden, said: “Please come and help us plant a forest food garden in raised beds here at BSG, no previous experience required. Also, we are currently welcoming donations of materials such as: compost, top soil, repurposed wood, fruit bushes, seeds, garden paint, gardening tools, and well as funds. If you can support us in any way please get in touch: [email protected] Help your community grow food while looking after our green space. Thank you.”
Lynda Smith, a volunteer with Love Food Hate Waste brought along Cherwell’s ‘Wheel of Knowledge,‘ encouraging people to test how much they know about what can be recycled, rewarding players with a small prize.
The event also included the distribution of surplus plants, fruit, vegetables and seeds and the offering of advice on composting and gardening.
Tila added: "The aim of Great Big Green Week is to highlight and celebrate the environmental work being carried out by the local community, it was very moving to see so many people getting involved."