On Saturday I chaired a discussion at the Midlands Arts Centre on making our gardens and community spaces more wildlife (and particularly bee) – friendly.

This was part of a day of talks, films, sound installations and performances based around Heiner Goebbels’s Walden, a contemporary composition inspired by American writer Henry Thoreau.



For this, I was joined by Eleanor Hoad of Urban Harvest and Dr Birgit Kehrer of Change Kitchen (winners of this year’s Green Restaurant of the year award).



We had quite a wide-ranging discussion on topics from the plants to grow in your garden to how to set up a community orchard or a project in your neighbourhood to help other people grow veg at home. The people who attended really did seem to engage with the plight of the bee in this country and asked about the possibility of keeping bees in their gardens. We would always recommend taking expert advice on this from the Beekeepers’ Association, as it is a large undertaking to actually look after a hive. Just as important in our campaign is the plight of solitary bees and we have produced a guide to building a bee hotel for them, which is a simpler beginner’s option.

Thanks to Clare Edwards who organised the whole day of activities to bring environmental awareness to all the music lovers who were there for the performance and to the speakers who came and added their expert knowledge on action happening in Birmingham that other people can copy.

If you want to join the bee cause, keep up the pressure on government for more protection for bees and get involved locally by attending our meetings and helping promote the campaign in your communities. Also, come along on 28th July and speak to some of our volunteers at the Bee Activity Day in Martineau Gardens where there will be fun for all the family.