Over the last two months, one of the biggest pieces of work that has been going on around The Warehouse has been outside the building. Some of the money raised at last year’s There’s Something Funny In The Honey comedy fundraising gig was earmarked for spending on our own little Bee World here beside The Warehouse. Volunteers have been beavering away over the course of a few weekends to create this. Firstly, hard surfaces were removed, followed by replacement with soil, and, finally, bee friendly plants were added that should help feed our beleaguered bees.

In addition to the Bee World, the volunteers have also been getting stuck into clearing up a derelict plot adjacent to the building to create a space for wildlife here in the middle of the city. The space had been neglected for many years, but in recent years we’ve been progressively tidying it up, clearing dumped rubbish and cutting back the mass of buddleia that had completed colonised the area. Recently we’ve had a big push to get the space looking like a real garden, which has involved: buddleia trimming, the creation of a ‘dead hedge’ with the trimmings, chipping of the remaining twigs and branches, and the collection of hundreds of loose bricks and rubble that were lying around the place. Thanks to a donation of topsoil, we now have more opportunities to plant out areas with wildlife friendly plants.

The clearing and gardening sessions have proved especially popular with volunteers this year, and as a little treat we’ve been taking advantage of the sunny weather and having a little volunteers’ barbecue to say thanks for their efforts. The result of all the hard work has been to transform the space into more of a manageable garden that we can now take forward, with our plans being for it to become a permaculture garden, providing both a haven for wildlife and a little local food production, as well as a social and relaxation space for our volunteers and hopefully the local community, too.