Streets, Squares and 'Bee' Roads.

Tue, 28/04/2015 - 15:47
Ivy leaved Toadflax by Juliet Wilson

SUNDAY 30 MAY 2015 @ 2:00PM. Meet at the Tate Community Garden beside the Tate Modern, Bankside London SE1 9TG.
Take an informative ramble through the backstreets and narrow ways of Bankside, SE1 and along the South Embankment in the River of Flowers Central London, in search of overlooked and neglected urban herbs, which hide in plain sight.  You can find a hayfever remedy, a plant to stop the flow of a bleeding cut and one that even lowers blood pressure! Learn how to identify these with medical herbalist Marcos Patchett, who practices at Neals Yard, Covent Garden and Middlesex University’s Park Clinic in North London.

The pavements, gardens, parks and rooftops are not only London’s overlooked medicinal treasure trove but they are also a source of essential nectar and pollen for urban pollinators including bees and butterflies. River of Flowers is a nonprofit social enterprise working in partnership to link these spaces with trails or ‘rivers’ of wildflowers and create safe routes through cities for pollinators. We have teamed up with the Bankside Urban Forest, a long term partnership project coordinated by Better Bankside, that has been enhancing the streets, pavements, squares and parks between the riverside and Elephant and Castle since 2008, and has planted nearly 300 trees! This walk is part of the Cheslea Fringe Festival 2015 (16 May to 7 June 2015).

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) © Joaquin Alves Gaspar, Wikimedia Commons

SATURDAY 16 MAY 2015 @ 10:00am. Meet in Millennium Square, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5LL.
 honeycomb meadow of wildflowers, designed by River of Flowers to highlight the importance of creating bee and pollinator friendly habitats in our urban environment, will be appearing in Millennium Square and other places in Bristol during the Chelsea Fringe in Bristol (16 May to 7 June 2015). The installation of interlinking and moveable hexagonal planters is a joint collaboration with partners Bee Bristol, which are project managing the entire event and distributing the HoneyComb Meadow wildflower turf to community gardening projects around the city after the event. 

By linking the hexagonal shapes within the honeycomb created by the honeybee together with the floral forage that all bees need to survive, the HoneyComb Meadow brings a touch of vibrant life to Millennium Square.  It will not only ‘pop-up’ on the first day of the Chelsea Fringe Festival but will move around the square in different interlocking hexagonal arrangements from time to time so you will never be quite sure where it will ‘pop up’ next or what pattern it will take from one day to the next!

WEDNESDAY 27 MAY & SATURDAY 30 MAY 2015 @ 10:30AM until 5:00PM. Meet at the Bristol Bike Project, 7, City Road, Bristol BS2 8TN.
Also happening in the Chelsea Fringe in Bristol  (16 May to 7 June 2015) to complement the urban bee foraging garden in its wheel-shaped planter, which the Bristol Bike Project created last year in collaboration with partners River of Flowers, the Bristol Bike Project is hosting a free two-day workshop to create a mobile, multifunctional and practical ‘green’ seating, eating and planting structure using reclaimed timber, spare bicycle parts and wild plants!

The workshop, run by Tammy Crawford-Rolt, aims to connect with the community and draw people into the space to share skills and ideas as well as raise awareness about the value of up-cycling, wildlife and conservation and the importance of uniting communities and sharing skills together in an outdoor environment. Bristol Bike Project is a comprehensive Community Bike Project, repairing and relocating unwanted bicycles. The project aims to help people from all walks of life get out and about on two wheels and to highlight cycling as an inclusive and empowering experience. 

SATURDAY 16 MAY 2015 @ 3:00PM. Meet at The Pill Box Kitchen, 115 Coventry Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 6GG. Talks start at 5:00pm.
Kicking off the Chelsea Fringe Festival 2015 in Manchester on Thursday 14th May will be a cycle ride from Manchester to London by a group of cyclists from The Manchester Galleries Partnership, who are aiming to promote wildflower growing for pollinators including bees and butterflies, urban sustainability and the joys of cycling while creating the ultimate River of Flowers over a route of 237 miles! The intrepid cyclists will reach The Pillbox Kitchen in Bethnal Green, London, two days later on Saturday 16th May at approximately 3pm, where all who turn up will find plenty of food and drink along with talks and discussions. The cyclists will be delivering honey from the rooftop beehives at Manchester Art Gallery to the Pillbox Kitchen, where the chefs at the restaurant will have created a special recipe for honey ice cream.

Along the route, which will take in stops in Derbyshire and Oxford, a bespoke mix of wildflower seed ‘Cycle-Flower-Power’ will be given away. River of Flowers, a non-profit social enterprise planting for pollinators and people in cities, has curated a special pollinator recipe of scented, edible and healing native flowers to celebrate the immense health value of cycling regularly along the ‘Bee’ roads!

Ivy-Leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) © Juliet Wilson

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) © Joaquin Alves Gaspar, Wikimedia Commons

Bee Wheelin Garden © Andy Maybury

All other photographs by Tim Barsby of Bee Bristol or Kathryn Lwin of River of Flowers