Reserve marks 25th birthday

DISPLAY: The ceramic flowers installation at Skelton Grange, which is celebrating its 25th birthday.
DISPLAY: The ceramic flowers installation at Skelton Grange, which is celebrating its 25th birthday.

A Leeds nature reserve will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an exhibition inspired by bees and other wildlife.

Skelton Grange will launch its month-long anniversary celebrations on Saturday with nature displays made from materials which reflect Leeds’ industrial heritage.

A spokesman for The Conservation Volunteers, which manages the site, said: “Laney Birkhead’s inspirational Swarm installation will be at the heart of the exhibition, and visitors will be able to walk inside a ‘hive’ of 50,000 hand printed bees. This magical experience was explored and enjoyed by so many people at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley last year.”

Other attractions include a documentary film, produced by Paul Harris, about how hundreds of people from all over Yorkshire helped print the 50,000 bees, and turn them into an art installation.

There will also be new permanent willow, wood, ceramic and beeswax artworks made for Skelton Grange with support from Leeds Inspired and Grow Wild.

These new artworks have been made by Leeds schools and community groups, and will include a ceramic wildflower meadow inspired by the Tower of London poppies, carved spoons made of wood harvested from the Skelton Grange nature area, and a record of the site’s wildflowers through the seasons preserved in natural beeswax.

The spokesman added: “Visitors will also be able to enjoy and buy beautiful art and craft work created by the Swarm collective of 12 local artists and makers in response to the plight of the honeybee and other pollinators. Their range of prints, glass, jewellery, prints, film, ceramics and textiles are truly inspiring to see.”

The display runs until September 16. It’s free entry.

Kevan Mason, of Greenhow, walks his dogs across a snow cover field at Greenhow, near Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire. Picture James Hardisty.

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