Most visitors to Blackpool are here for only one thing at this time of year– tucking into fish and chips on the Promenade as they take in the Illuminations.
But there was something else creating a buzz of excitement for recent tourists to the town... honey bees!
Thirty young people aged 18 to 30 from all over Europe recently visited the resort to take part in a number of specialist workshops, as part of the EU Erasmus + funded project: ORA (Observe, Re-think, Act) Network.
Alan Hulme, director of Blackpool-based Urban Organic who co-ordinated the young people’s activities, said: “ORA is all about how young people interact with the environment and how they can learn through non-formal education such as peer to peer learning, creativity and experience.
“We held three workshops during their visit.
“The gardening workshop involved working in a community garden, creating a garden cafe and pop up shop area.
“We held a honey bee workshop where we looked at how we live alongside honey bees, depend on them for pollination and how we can protect them.
“Then we had a stop motion animation workshop where the young people produced videos to bring all the elements together.”
“They absolutely loved their trip.
“It was nice for us to see Blackpool through other people’s eyes.
“A lot of them hadn’t heard of Blackpool Tower or the Illuminations and they were amazed by it all.
“They had a really good time.”
For Alan, ORA is just one of a number of projects he’s involved in – and passionate about.
He can normally be seen working in Urban Organic’s Growing for Life community garden based at N Vision – The Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Society for the Blind – on Bosworth Place, South Shore, where the workshops for the exchange students were held.
The Growing for Life project started in April 2016 following £248,000 of funding from the Big Lottery.
Alan added: “We work with N-Vision doing gardening sessions with residents on Wednesday afternoons.
“N-Vision has been really open-minded and welcoming to what we do.
“We are currently looking for garden volunteers and shop volunteers for our gardening shop at N-Vision.
“If anyone would like to help out, we’d love to hear from you!”
* Exchange visits can be arranged for Fylde coast young people to take part in workshops in countries participating in the ORA Network.
For more information email email@example.com or visit the website www.urbanorganic.org.uk