Please visit the Workshops tab for 2022 workshops.
Whitemountain Bee Hive Project & Pollinator Plan - If you have an interest in bee-keeping (taking part in hive inspections, having a hive, allowing a hive on your property) then get in touch. As part of the All Ireland Pollinator plan, this year please plant a few pollinator friendly flowering plants. To get you going, along with the flyer announcing the AGM and Survey is a small wild flower seed impregnated hexagon shaped piece of recycled paper from ukseedpaper.com. Simply soak the piece of paper, rip it into little bits, scatter on a small patch of sunny facing soil (weak soil is even better for wildflowers), spread a few millimetres of the soil over the top, re water and wait. Pots or tubs are fine too. Keep the soil moist and water the plants. Take photos as your little patch of pollinator friendly flowers grow and share them with us on our facebook page.
AGM and Survey (both on-line) - Thanks to all that replied to our recent on line and postal surveys. The winner of the spring planter was Wilma Henderson from Stoneyford.
The majority of our events are greatfully assisted by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) via their Community Support Grant and are risk assessed to ensure appropriate health and safety measures are put in place.
Bookings are essential. Reservations must be made via this website by sending a note through the More > Contact Us section.
Late December 2021 -We were grateful to receive some compost from the LCCC garden waste recycling scheme and some Tulip bulbs. Both were used to plant out some areas at road junctions and in prominent planters. Watch out for the Tulips in Spring 2022.
Sun 7 November 2021. Hands on Artisan Baking /cooking morning.
Artisan cooking workshop by the Bakehouse, Bellaghy, a professional artisan caterer. Hands on activity. Max 12 people. Bookings essential. Fee £10. Venue: Ballance House (Ulster New Zealand Trust).
Sat 21 August 2021. Hands on Artisan Baking /cooking morning.
Artisan Baking and cooking workshop by the Bakehouse, Bellaghy, a professional artisan caterer. Hands on activity. Max 15 people. Bookings essential. Fee around £10. Venue: Ballance House (Ulster New Zealand Trust).
At this event there will also be an opportunity for anyone with 35mm negatives of family history to have them scanned into a high quality digital format. Do advise in advance though to avail of this.
Whitemountain Bee Hive project Honey reservations.
The expansion this year of the Whitemountain Community Bee Hive project (funded last yuear by the LCCC supported Grand Choice project) now means that hopes are high, weather permitting, of being able to offer jars of honey for sale.
If you are interested in reserving one or more 400g approx jars at £5 per jar then reserve through the More>Contact us tab. This will be a first reserved first served process. Payment not needed until time of collection which will probably be early September.
The Native Irish Black Bees have been foraging in about a 3 mile radius of the top of Whitemountain so the honey will reflect all the mix of wildflowers, trees and all the garden flowers in the area. In other words, the honey is not produced from all one crop/plant type. Last years first ever crop got great reviews.
WIRE & WILLOW WORKSHOP - SAT 14 NOVEMBER 2020
Well done to everyone that took partin our practical craft morning to make a wire and willow bicycle shaped plant / decoration holder something like the attached photo. The 3 hour workshop was professionally tutored by Elaine Taylor who held mosaic workshops at the Island Arts Centre led workshop.
This is part of our series of events supported by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Community Support scheme.
Our most recent previous events were a tour, bat survey and tidy up at Belshaw’s Quarry Nature Reserve, a hands on tutor led baking workshop. Thanks to all for attending. See our facebook page for pics.
HANDS ON BAKING - SAT 10 OCTOBER - Following on from a very successful demonstration of griddle baking, on Saturday 10th October, 11am to approx 12.30pm, we held a limited numbers opportunity to do some hands on baking of Guinness loaf and a Red Pepper and Tomato soup. The Bakehouse, Bellaghy, Cookery School conducted the activity at The Little Green Allotments, 3F Whitemountain Rd, Lisburn, BT28 3QY. All ingredients and equipment were provided. A follow on demo of how to make the Crab Apple Jelly mentioned in the Honey Project was also held. Price was £12 and pre payable before hand just after booking.
As this is an event not within a domestic environment then a Covid-19 risk assessment process was employed. No surprise that numbers will be limited with social distancing in place at all times, masks were mandatory, sanitisers / hand washing to be used when appropriate and specific management of movement within the venue.
Afterwards, attendees were able to visit the nearby Belshaws Quarry Nature reserve.
BAT SURVEY - TUE 13 OCTOBER - A dedicated group too part in a bat-listening survey at Belshaw's Quarry Nature Reserve, Benson's Rd, Lisburn. We started at 6pm for a familiarisation tour, and then a licenced person led survey. Finished just after dark . Outdoor clothes and footware was essential and a torch for when it's time to depart the quarry floor area of the site. This was aFree activity as part of our LCCC Community Grant Aided activities 2020/21.
HANDS ON BIO-DIVERSITY TIDY UP - SAT 17 October - From10am to approx 3pm, at Belshaws Quarry Nature Reserve, Bensons Rd, there was a tidy up activity. Some overgrown parts of the areas of the geology of the site needed tidied up. New Gardening gloves were provided. Outdoor clothes and footware was essential. This was A FREE activity but
Thanks to all of you that pre-reserved a pot of ‘raw’ honey from the first ever Whitemountain Bee Hive.
Availability of natural non-processed honey is at the mercy of nature and 2020 turned out to be a very challenging year. A really dry spring, then a cool and wet part of summer (when the real nectar should have been abundant) has resulted in the bees not being near as productive as they might have been. The result is that the available honey per person that pre-reserved has been limited. Rather than some lose out totally, this ‘rationing’ is a fairer way on those that showed interest.
However, as a result of some 100,000 bees in the area, some ‘ancient’ crab apple tress close by the hive has produced way more crab apples than on an average year. Since the bees made their impact on these trees, the plan is to make a batch of crab apple jelly (not jam) with a hint of clove. The added sugar will be way less than commercial brands. Tests indicate that the added sugar can be as low as about 30% to not mask too much the slight tartiness of the crab apple but still be sweet enough.
Although honey 'rations' have been allocated, if you are interested in a 230 gram / approx half pound pot of Crab Apple & hint of clove Jelly then please advise via the More> Contact Us tab. Only brand new sterilised glass jars are used.
Proceeds will go back into next years hive management. Please reply back as soon as possible.
As far as the hive is concerned, the new nucleus hive (or nuc) is (touch wood) looking in good shape as it slows down in readiness for it's over-wintering. The food stores from Ivy pollen has yet to happen so that will help. The nuc will soon be left more or less untouched until mid-to-end March next year when (hopefully) the weather permits transferring the over-wintered bees and queen to a full size hive for next summer's growth and honey-harvest. Bee keeping is fraught with natural problems but hopefully all goes ok. If you wish to be involved then do get in touch.
MAY - JULY - COVID-19 RESPONSE PROJECTS
Throughout May to July 2020 we conducted a 4 stranded project, the details of which are summarised below. More details are on our facebook page and Nextdoor page and per details sent out to all 220 households in the area. This project was funded by LCCC COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
To follow the activities, visit our facebook page.
Saturday 1 August - at the Little Green Allotments we held a socially distanced Griddle Baking demonstration by The Bake House. This ticket only event lasted just over one hour.
YouTube links are as follows:
Equipment and Cheddar and chive roll https://youtu.be/fUfgGFz44v4
Soda Farl https://youtu.be/6T_3A4nODL0
Ceasar Salad https://youtu.be/HbOieqs-AUk
To be on the reserve list for our next 'hands-on' baking workshop, please send us a request through our Contact Us tab (in the More section), via facebook, or via Next Door. This will have very limited capacity due to recently revised social distancing rules.
Wed 29 July, 7.30pm: We held an on-line tour of Belshaws Quarry Nature Reserve and Sculpture Park and also of the Grand Choice funded Whitemountain Bee Hive project. The tour was via Zoom. Both audio tours are available at the following locations.
Late June: Thanks to all that took part in our 2nd ever survey (first was in 2011). The postal survey (via a SAE reply) had a strong return rate which was great. One lucky person won a food hamper.
Early June: Did you try your hand at growing summer flowers and lettuce?. See seed sheets that were posted out to households. Why not show your results on our facebook page.
Mid May: We created a Useful Information leaflet on the pandemic and posted it to all 220 households in our area. See below.