Banbury residents gather for a community gardening event

Children work in a bee hotel during an event at Bridge Street Garden in Banbury on Saturday September 18. (photo submitted)

The event, held on Saturday September 18, was organized by Banbury Community Action Group (BCAG) and Wild Banbury and helps mark the launch of Great Big Green Week.

With the help of volunteers from Wild Banbury (WB) and members of the Banbury Community Action Group (BCAG), local children and their parents have created a beautiful bee hotel and insect shelter from of pallets, cans, scaffolding planks, canes, branches and natural materials, found materials.

Harriet Jordan from Wild Banbury said: “We are helping the people of Banbury take 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 action to make room 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 well-being.

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A Love Food Hate Waste volunteer brought Cherwell’s “Wheel of Knowledge”, encouraging people to test their knowledge of what can be recycled, rewarding players with a small prize. (photo sent)

Several local conservationists wore giant animal heads/masks representing endangered animal species that participated in the activities. As well as building the hotel, they helped with several gardening tasks in the community garden and walked around Banbury town center before traveling to Oxford to join the ‘Walk for Life on Earth’ organized 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, meaning they are hunted. I believe hunting and hunting are both cruel and unnecessary. I want to raise this issue on a day when we celebrate the natural world.

BCAG Chairman Jim Smith who was also at the garden said: ‘We are a local group of volunteers who work on a range of environmental and community projects from the Bridge Street Garden (BSG) to the Browning Road Community Orchard, encouraging gardening cycling and walking in Banbury, give and take and fix coffee events among many others. Find out what’s happening on our website or Facebook page: https://banburycag.org.uk My mask represented the loss of 50% of insect populations over the past 50 years.

Tila Rodriguez Past, who helped organize the event at Bridge Street Garden, said: “Please come and help us plant a forest garden in raised beds here at BSG, no previous experience required. Additionally, we are currently welcoming donations of materials such as: compost, topsoil, repurposed wood, fruit bushes, seeds, garden paint, garden tools and funds. If you can support us in any way, please contact us: [email protected] Help your community grow food while taking care of our green spaces. Thank you.”

Children work in a bee hotel during an event at Bridge Street Garden in Banbury on Saturday September 18. (photo submitted)

Lynda Smith, a Love Food Hate Waste volunteer, brought Cherwell’s ‘Knowledge Wheel’, encouraging people to test their knowledge of what can be recycled, rewarding players with a small prize.

The event also included the distribution of surplus plants, fruits, vegetables and seeds and the offer of advice on composting and gardening.

Tila added: “The aim of Great Big Green Week is to highlight and celebrate the environmental work being done by the local community, it was very moving to see so many people getting involved.”

Several local environmentalists wore giant animal masks representing endangered animal species that participated in the activities. As well as building the hotel, they helped with several gardening tasks in the community garden and walked around Banbury town center before heading to Oxford to join the ‘Walk for Life on Earth’.
One of the local conservationists who wore giant animal masks depicting endangered animal species joined in the activities of the community event held at Bridge Street Garden
One of the local conservationists who wore giant animal masks depicting endangered animal species joined in the activities of the community event held at Bridge Street Garden