Picture by Chris Bull for Manchester Arndale 18/4/19 Big Bee Garden www.chrisbullphotographer.com

Manchester’s mad about bees.

We’ve had the Bee in the City sculpture trail, a bee hotel, and even pugs dressed as bees to raise money for charity.

And that’s just for starters.

With bees at risk from pesticides and loss of habitat, Manchester Arndale has set up The Big Bee Project to inspire Mancunians to make their gardens, streets and communities more bee-friendly.

At their Instagram-worthy installation outside Topman on the Lower Mall, you can wander through a pretty pergola of flowers whilst reading about why bees are important, why they are at risk and how you can help save them at home.

Then pop over to the giant honeypot to vote for your favourite community group to win a bee-friendly garden makeover. As a thank you for voting, you’ll get a packet of wildflower seeds to plant at home

The three groups up for the public vote are:

Caring for our Common Home at Wardley Home

Located in the grounds of Wardley Hall, which is the home of the Bishop of Salford, this project will soon offer a range of educational activities to people of all faiths and non-religious beliefs across Greater Manchester, including our schools.

As well as forestry, bat conservation and recycling projects, the team wants to create a brand new educational space to attract bees. This will include planting a range of bee-friendly trees and plants, and installing six bee hives.

Clayton Hall Living History Museum

After taking part in Manchester’s Bee in the City trail, the museum team now wants to make a bee-friendly area in the garden for visitors to enjoy. This will include adding a range of new plants to create a wildflower meadow and building three bee hives.

The museum and surrounding gardens in Clayton is open to the general public twice a month. Schools and community groups from across Greater Manchester are also welcomed throughout the month to learn about local history and our environment.

Glodwick Infant and Nursery School

The school in Oldham has over 360 pupils from a range of different cultures and faiths. It is located in an urban area that has limited natural greenery, and so the school’s garden provides a fantastic sensory space for outdoor learning, as well as special family events to bring the local community together.

The school wants to make the garden more bee-friendly by adding a diverse range of plants to attract bees throughout the year, and building ‘bee hotels’ and ‘bee nests’ using recycled materials.

The Big Bee Project event is on until Sunday 28th April outside Topman on the Lower Mall.

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