London Sustainability Exchange (LSx)’s Pollinator Paths project aspires to connect local residents with nature, particularly through gardening and helping to foster green spaces. Community gardens improve the wellbeing of both residents and pollinators – the animals and insects who pollinate one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat, but who are increasingly endangered by pesticides and the decline of urban green spaces. Through cultivating community gardens, residents can be physically active and socialise with their neighbours, as well as benefiting the environment and biodiversity.
Meanwhile Gardens is a community garden in the heart of North Kensington in inner-city London. Since 1976, the garden has brought people together, from all walks of life, to plant, garden and nurture a piece of earth, cultivating respect for both the environment and each other. Since May 2019, Pollinator Paths has partnered with Meanwhile Gardens as a hub where residents can learn about the importance of pollinators and how to plant pollinator-friendly seeds and plants at home and in public spaces.
The pollinator-friendly plants were sourced from Cultivating Kensington & Chelsea (CKC), a social enterprise whose volunteers grow herb and vegetable seedlings to sell to community kitchen garden plot holders and the wider public. Pollinator Paths consciously chose to work with an ethical local business which grows organically and using no pesticides, vital as organic cultivation does not harm bees, butterflies and garden moths and is respectful of the soil.
On Thursday 25 April 2019, Pollinator Paths held a ‘Tiny Green Fingers Session’ at the Meanwhile Gardens Playhut to give out free planters to parents and carers and to encourage families to try gardening, especially those with little previous experience.
This event was followed by Gardening Workshops on Saturday 28th September and Wednesday 23rd of October on how to plant for pollinators. We learned about the importance of plant colour, flowering season and the difference between wild and cultivated varieties in planning a pollinator-friendly garden. We got our hands dirty planting crocus bulbs for early emerging pollinators such as bumblebees. At the end of the sessions, residents took home windowsill boxes, Pollinator Paths handouts and beautiful “Planting for Honeybees” guides from Bermondsey Street Bees to continue their pollinator journey of discovery on their balcony or in their garden.
If you would like to get involved in making green spaces for people and pollinators in London, come to one of Pollinator Paths upcoming events in the next month – no gardening knowledge required!
- Tuesday 29th (10am-2pm) and Wednesday 30th (11am-1pm) October: Build and Plant Workshop for Residents of Kensington and Chelsea at Maxilla Men’s Shed, 4 Maxilla Walk, W10 6NQ – Open to RBKC residents, you must register your interest with the Men’s Shed:
- Saturday 16th November (11am-12.30pm): Winter Workshop led by bee expert Mark from Apicultural, at Meanwhile Gardens Community Association, 156-158 Kensal Rd, London W10 5BN:
- Friday 13th December (11am-1pm): Gardening for Pollinators at The Clement James Garden, 95 Sirdar Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 4EQ:
Please register with your name and postcode by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 2349 402.
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