Tune in to BBC Springwatch this Thursday (June 16th) at 8pm to see Room 212 and Glos Rd Central
Room 212 owner Sarah Thorp was delighted to welcome BBC Springwatch presenter Nick Baker and TV crew to her shop this May. They were filming the installation of planters full of pollinator friendly plants and flowers on Gloucester Road by Avon Wildlife Trust. Sarah had instigated the project by first planting up an old enamel bath outside Room 212 and encouraging other traders to grow plants outside their shops . She then invited Avon Wildlife Trust to oversee the planters and applied for funding from the BCR Neighbourhood Partnership.
There are now over 30 planters on the pavements if Glos Rd Central which brighten up the lives of bees and shoppers alike.Springwatch will be aired every day from May 30th so look out for the episode on Gloucester Road!
Meet the Bees On Gloucester Road
June 11 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Local Beekeepers Hives & Herbals have set up a section of living beehive outside Room 212. Spot the Queen and pick up bee related tips and products. Enjoy the bee friendly plants growing in more than 30 pavement planters outside Glos Rd Central shops – part of the Avon Wildlife Trust ‘My Wild City’ project.
Greening up Gloucester Road
The ‘My Wild City’ team have been at it again. This this time we teamed up with the business community of Gloucester Road Central. Our mission, to create an urban pollinator corridor on this busy road in Bristol. Mission impossible? We didn’t think so and we’ve proved it!
Funded by a combination of Neighbourhood Partnership grants and My Wild City project funding, the offer of personalised pollinator planters was given to 55 businesses running from the Egerton Rd junction all the way up to Nevil Rd, an area locally known as Gloucester Road Central . Thirty businesses ranging from café’s, boutiques, hardware stores, solicitors to food shops. Even the local butcher got involved.
Over the course of a week in early May, 50 new planters were installed requiring 1000 pieces of wood, 22 tonnes of supersoil (compost-topsoil mix) and over 450 nectar-rich plants, flowering shrubs and small trees. Planting plans were drawn up by wildlife garden experts at Earth Timber Stone who took into account the urban context of the project to include appropriately hardy species were chosen which can survive the additional pollution and disturbance by people.
More than half the plants included were native wildflowers including bird’s foot trefoil, ivy leaved toadflax, wild strawberry, selfheal, bugle, red campion and meadow cranesbill. Herbs such as sage, thyme, mint and rosemary commonly featured in many of the planters as they have a joint appeal to both people and wildlife. By attaching trellis we even managed to cater for native climbers including honeysuckle and clematis.
As well as members of the Avon Wildlife Trust staff, a series of dedicated volunteers gave up over 120 hours of their time to the cause. A doctor, an accountant and a waitress were amongst those who donned garden gloves over the 7 days. Even employees of the local businesses got involved with staff dropping by on their way home from a long shift.
The project was officially launched on the 7th May at the annual Gloucester Road Mayfest organised and hosted by Sarah Thorp at Room 212 who has recently built her own eco-house at the back of her shop including two green roofs.
The additional of so much greenery has vastly increased opportunities for pollinators along this 400m stretch of concreted grey. As well as helping the local wildlife, it’s hoped the project will make the shopping experience for all those visiting the area a little bit more ‘wild’ and create a buzzing hub for local traders and shoppers.
Plus, the project attracted the interest of BBC Spring Watch , and a filming crew joined the action for a day - so look out for Bristol’s Gloucester Road on the telly in June!