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Making up for bad bee-haviour

  • Less than three years ago the Wild Cat Wilderness in Catford was an overgrown, unloved, rubbish strewn site. Today it is a thriving community green space run by the Rushey Green Time Bank. The Wild Cat Wilderness is a unique space in the local area, a safe (but wild) oasis which allows the local community to enjoy and work with nature, harvest and grow fresh local food, a piece of the countryside in the heart of Catford which backs onto the Pool River. It's a space the community have shaped, a place for children to safely run around, get dirty and learn, a meeting point for families, for neighbours, to make friends and feel part of a community. It is used by many local schools for outdoor learning and a place where the wider community can volunteer, relax in its peacefulness, share and enjoy with other local people of all ages, cultures, faiths and abilities.

    Unfortunately the tranquility has been recently disrupted and the Wilderness has been the victim of some terrible vandalism over the period of a week. It has been broken into four times and on two occasions the vandals maliciously attacked the hives and tried to drown the honeybees. This mindless destruction of our wonderful pollinators has been deeply upsetting. One colony has been destroyed and hives broken, and the bees that survived have now been removed off site until security is improved.

    The vandals have also destroyed the pond several times, broken into the shed, slashed the outdoor classroom and water butts, destroyed a hand built fence and the bug hotels - in fact everything that the community created. Whilst volunteers are gradually rebuilding, the bee appeal has been set up on Localgiving to replace a hive, build an apiary cage and increase the security. So that this negative can be turned into a positive the appeal will also help set up Project Buzz, a pilot project to engage local young people in beekeeping and making bee related products. 

    The bees will return once the security has been improved and an apiary cage built so that the community can continue to learn about our ever so important buzzing friends.

    If you want to help out then apart from making a donation come and volunteer – no experience necessary and we always need someone to make tea! Check the What’s On page on the website www.wildcatwilderness.org for dates, sign up for the newsletter, plus book a place on one of wonderful free activities and events planned over the summer.

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