Neighbours join forces to turn Norwich road into 'bee street'

Edward and Jennifer Wenn.

Edward and Jennifer Wenn get to work on one of the troughs to attract bees and butterflies. - Credit: Joe Hedinger and Lucy McCarthy

Generations of people united with a common goal in mind - to transform their road into a 'bee street'.

Rosebery Road, in the north of Norwich, was buzzing with activity on Saturday, as more than 40 households started a community initiative to grow pollinator friendly plants in their gardens.

The idea is to turn the road into a 'bee street' - to provide the right type of plants for bees and butterflies, which have a crucial role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Joe Hedinger and Lucy McCarthy

Joe Hedinger and Lucy McCarthy - Credit: Joe Hedinger and Lucy McCarthy

Lucy McCarthy and Joe Hedinger, who runs Norwich's Book Hive bookshop, came up with the idea to get the community involved.

Inspired by a book called Being Ecological by philosopher Timothy Morton and a TED talk by statistician Nic Marks, the pair decided to come up with a way for their community to do something positive to help the environment - and their own wellbeing.

Mr Hedinger said: "With something as large as climate change, it can be difficult to see how something you do can make a difference.

"But Timothy Morton did a documentary where they were talking to Puerto Rican activists who were saying the neighbourhood can be a 'powerful unit of change'."

The pair decided that their neighbours might want to help make that change - by growing plants specifically to help pollinators.

Honey Bee on a flower close up macro photography

A honey bee busy at work - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto


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They gauged interest by putting letters through doors and built up a kitty of money from everybody who liked the idea.

They then worked with Timothy Gee at Mousehold Garden Centre to create ‘planter packs’, and ordered enough for everyone.

Each 'pack' contains a 60cm trough, enough soil to fill it, three pollinator perennials such as lupins, three pollinator attractors, such as pansies, plus care instructions written by Mr Gee.

Joe Hedinger

Joe Hedinger hands out one of the troughs to attract bees and butterflies. - Credit: Joe Hedinger and Lucy McCartney

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On Saturday, neighbours visited on a staggered basis to pick up their troughs and plants, which they will tend and grow in their gardens to attract pollinators.

Ms McCarthy said: "It's across the generations, from young people to people who have lived here for 30 plus years.

"t's a real mix of people and it's helping to create connections to each other and to the world around us."

Lucy McCarthy

Lucy McCarthy with one of the troughs to attract bees and butterflies. - Credit: Joe Hedinger and Lucy McCartney

The pair said if any other streets wanted to replicate the idea, they can be emailed at norwichbeestreet@gmail.com

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