Shopping centre goes back to basics with the birds and the bees

A shopping centre in the North is creating a buzz as the first centre in the UK to place a colony of over 100,000 honeybees on its roof.

The 675,000 square foot Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington has developed the unique eco initiative on its roof with advice from the British Beekeepers Association to help encourage the survival of the region’s honeybees which have been in serious decline in recent years.*


As an average, each colony will produce over 40lbs of honey annually and the centre will be donating its honey to local beekeepers for their hard work in the upkeep of these hives, with some profits also going towards the British Beekeepers Association.

Local school children will also be invited to visit the urban eco habitat at the centre and understand more about the plight of honeybees and how they can help.

The Lend Lease managed centre is further supporting bio diversity by installing 15 bird boxes on site, bought from local charity the Walton Lea project.

This charity provides supported employment for adults with learning difficulties by seeing them undertake a number of projects including building bird boxes from unwanted timber provided by Long Lane Garden Centre. The bird boxes are then sold on to firms like Golden Square to help generate much-needed funds.

Golden Square Beekeeper Richard MacRae said: “Golden Square really is making a positive impact on its environment through these activities helping to reduce our carbon footprint and increase biodiversity for the area. Whilst many shoppers may never even see a honeybee, the centre really is a hive of eco-friendly activity now.”

The birds and bees activity follows the sweet success of a campaign spearheaded by Golden Square to help Warrington deliver a massive 65 tonne reduction in its carbon emissions and become one North West’s ‘greenest’ towns.

Launched in April, the ‘Growing Up Green’ initiative attracted the support of more than 2,000 households, averaging over 6,000 people.

Backed by the Energy Saving Trust, the green campaign was also supported by Warrington Wolves players, former Lord Mayor Cllr John Joyce and key stakeholders, creating a ‘buzz’ across the town. More than 800,000 people across the Warrington region were made aware of the issues through extensive media coverage.

This campaign was part of Golden Square’s ‘Growing Up Green’ event, which included family activities such as tree giveaways and kids planting workshops, to help encourage young people to be more environmentally responsible.

Golden Square’s Marketing Manager Ian Cox added: “Shopping centres are at the heart of their towns and cities and definitely have a responsibility to promote positive change for their areas. We’re delighted that the project had such a major impact on our town’s carbon footprint.

“With the success of our ‘Turn It Down’ and ‘Growing Up Green’ campaign we can see that there’s a definite appetite for more sustainable activities that families can get involved with and help to make a difference.”

*Britain has seen a 15 per cent decline in its bee population in the last two years


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