Outdoor classroom in Burnley park will give schoolchildren unique opportunity to become apprentice bee keepers

Schoolchildren could soon become apprentice beekeepers and fruit and veg growers thanks to plans to create an outdoor classroom in a Burnley park.

By Sue Plunkett
Friday, 18th March 2022, 3:45 pm

The Friends of Ightenhill Park group are converting an old gardener's hut into a small classroom and plan to invite primary school youngsters in to teach them about the life of a bee and to encourage them to grow their own produce.

A Tesco community grant and money from the Lancashire Environmental Fund has made the Ightenhill Buzz Hub possible and volunteers will also have cash to buy child sized tables and chairs, gardening tools and protective aprons.

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The hub is just the latest project the active friends' group has created in the park. It all started with a polytunnel to create raised beds to produce fruit, veg and flowers. Now the group has its own apiary with seven trainee bee keepers.

Ida Carmichael who is secretary of the friends' group said: "Children are taught about the' birds and the bees' in the classroom, but nothing actually beats visiting an apiary to see the bees in action and physically getting their hands dirty and planting their own fruit and veg seeds which eventually grow.

"Encouraging children to connect with nature and build a relationship with their environment is best started as early as possible. Children who grow up with a love of nature in all its forms are more likely to care and nurture their environment when they’re older.

Bees pollinate flowers, which help us to grow fruits and vegetables. In this way, the children are participating in biodiversity.”

Ida Carmichael (right ) in one of the polytunnels with Billie Jean Horne, the community champion for Tesco, Burnley