December 12 2013 Latest news:
Volunteers and organisers at the once-derelict railway yard, from left: Cathy Warnock, Mo Anderson-Dungar, Scott Emmerson, Elizabeth Rusbridge, 16, Tonicha Costello, 16, Jessica Spanton, 16, Kenny Reeves, Judith Cantell and Giles Margarson.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
A derelict railway yard is one step closer to becoming a bee-friendly area after teenagers spent four days clearing the wild area.
The 16-year-olds from the Community Sports Foundation (CSF), who are taking part in the National Citizen Service, removed nettles and brambles from the land off Banningham Road, Aylsham, next to the Weavers’ Way footpath.
It is hoped volunteers will help put in plants and bulbs which promote the bee population and pollination as well as create an area for walkers to sit in by spring next year.
The idea behind the project came from former chairman of the Aylsham Cittaslow committee, Liz Jones, two years ago, and other groups involved include the Aylsham Community Partnership, Aylsham in Bloom and local schools.
Giles Margarson, Aylsham Community Partnership chairman, said: “It is about trying to reclaim the land to some degree and bring it back to some use. The project has got to be done on a shoestring. It is about begging and borrowing what we can.
“It is important because the bees are suffering and struggling. Bees are so important in the pollination process and a lot of people don’t realise that. It fulfils a use for this site because it is derelict at the moment. The Cittaslow committee has been talking about it for a long time and to see it come to fruition is brilliant.”
The 12 teenagers from the CSF scheme came from Aylsham High School, Reepham High School, Hellesdon High School and Norwich High School for Girls and cleared the area, owned by Aylsham Town Council, last month.
Scott Emmerson, CSF National Citizen Service team leader, said: “I was massively impressed, especially because the work was done in the heat. They achieved a great deal in a short amount of time.”
Cathy Warnock, Aylsham Cittaslow chairman, said: “It is to make sure the bee doesn’t die out. It will be quite worrying if we don’t do something. It will be a nice community space.”
The bee-friendly plants will include hollyhocks, lupins and flowering mint. Volunteers are invited to plant fruit trees and bulbs in the space on September 29 for worldwide Cittaslow Sunday. The Cittaslow movement focuses on promoting the town’s heritage, tourism and environment.
Anyone interested in getting involved or sponsoring the site should call Mr Margarson on 07786 892047.