Manchester Gallery come to Scotland (by bike!)

Grow Wild's Partnership Manger for Scotland, Claire Bennett, reports on the epic bike journey...

An intrepid group of cyclists from Manchester Art Gallery and their Brew Wild project, supported by Grow Wild, have just achieved an epic 334 mile, four day tour from Manchester to Edinburgh, handing out Grow Wild wildflower seed packets all along their way! Seed stop offs included Kendal, Beattock, our Scotland flagship site the Water Works in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire (sorry team, no showers just a bath full of wild flowers!), Glasgow and then finally Edinburgh; stopping to meet growing communities in Portobello.

For a second year in a row…

The group want to raise awareness of urban beekeeping, tree planting, wild flowers and cycling; meeting cycling enthusiasts, growers and those interested in urban sustainability.

The ride team, including Manchester Museums and Galleries Partnership staff, a gallery patron, staff from Manchester City Council and invited guests, (as well as prior Grow Wild employee Vinny!) have spent the summer training,donning lycra and pounding out the miles in an attempt to be ride-fit in time for September.

Looking good! And they’re off! Day 1 Manchester to Kendal (91 miles)

Hang on….where are we? …Trafford

Inevitable tyre problems en route

It will take more than that to stop the intrepid bikers

First seed stop in Chorley (for ice-cream of course)

Day 2 Kendal to Dumfries (96 miles) starting out refreshed, reached the Kirkstone Pass in Windermere and they're still smiling!

No time for horsing around Day 3. Dumfries to Barrhead (94.7 miles)

Welcome to Scotland!

Seed stop off at a school in Beattock in Dumfries and Galloway.

Water Works welcoming party. John Shelton, Mark Brand, Kenny (volunteer) and local bee enthusiast Sharon Dennett put on a warm welcome for the hungry exhausted cyclists after 3 days intensive cycling to Scotland.  Sorry we had rain and strong winds crew, but at least they could keep dry in the think tank with homemade pizza from the Cobb oven, homemade apple crumble and apple juice from our orchard apples at the Water Works harvested a week ago at our Harvest lunch celebrations.

Then off to Edinburghto talk bees, beer and bikes in the seaside jewel of Edinburgh, Portobello, at community hub Tribe Porty. The talk was hosted with partners at Cycling UK Scotland, who organise the Big Bike Revival in getting more people on their bikes, a perfect partnership. Enthusiastic wild flower growers of Porty all pulled together to sow wild flowers with Grow Wild seed kits at various sites in celebration and in the spirit of the touring group.

A very tired cyclist group clutching cups of tea and desperate for food still managed to speak passionately about their cause! An inspiration to the group of keen cyclist growers who arrived to hear their story, giving them a round of applause as they arrived!

And relax and stretch for the long…cycle, scrap that, train and car rides home….

Along the way, they captured the journey with a GoPro strapped to their helmets! Here's a snippet of their adventure:


Congratulations Brew Wild Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery Cycling team for a fantastic achievement and the successful sharing of wild flowers, bee keeping knowledge, honey and wild honey beer making info!

Thanks to all Grow Wild partners:
Water Works, East Renfrewshire with East Renfrewshire Council
Cycling UK Scotland
Tribe Porty
Timebank Porty
Building Communities with Gardens community in Portobello 

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