Bradford Environmental Education Service (BEES)

BEES Contact Details

BEES has been delivering environmental education activities across the Bradford District for 25 years. The focus of our work is on improving places for wildlife and people. Our projects include a conservation volunteer programme, work with school groups and young people, community events and celebrations and a wildlife field visit programme.  BEES is an integral part of Bradford YMCA, which works with young people across Bradford to support their transition to adulthood.

Bradford Environmental Education Service [BEES]
Culture Fusion Building
125 Thornton Road

+44 (0) 1274 371303
Fax: +44 (0) 1274 371359
E-mail: bees [at]

Julia Pearson; Environmental Programmes Manager
Nick Milsom; BEES Lead Project Worker
Amanda Smith; Habitat Heroes Project Worker
Rachel Deadman; Joint Community Space Challenge Coordinator; Environmental Youth Worker
Rob Ashford: Joint CSC Coordinator; Environmental Youth Worker

Long term volunteers:

Virginia Chaparro Parra


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53° 47' 12.9732" N, 1° 45' 33.3792" W

BEES Conservation Volunteer Group

BEES runs a conservation volunteer programme that works across the Bradford District one day each week. We work on Fridays and occasionally on weekends. We manage a number of urban and urban fringe sites for the benefit of wildlife and local people. These include BEES Urban Nature Reserve, Bowling Park Community Orchard, Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve and Baildon Moor. No previous experience is necessary; training will be given on the day. Please follow this link to the current programme


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53° 47' 13.3152" N, 1° 45' 32.9904" W

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

BEES/YMCA manage a small nature reserve that was created in 1990 on land rented from the University, within the Lasiteridge Lane campus. The reserve contains two medium sized ponds, which have healthy populations of Brown Hawker dragonflies amongst others, areas of native trees and wild flowers. The reserve is managed by BEES Conservation Volunteers and we use the reserve for pond dipping/minibeast studies and wildlife art with school groups and playschemes.


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53° 47' 5.9892" N, 1° 46' 9.7608" W

Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

This is a council owned urban wildlife reserve that contains wildflower meadow, native trees and shrubs and a small pond. This is an excellent place to see birds, butterflies and wildflowers. Practical Conservation work is carried out all year round by BEES.

Council contact, Conservation Officer: 01274 432425


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53° 48' 21.2076" N, 1° 45' 5.2488" W

Bowling Park Community Orchard

The orchard was created in 2003 on six disused allotment plots. There are about 40 varietes of fruit, mostly apples, including several originating in Yorkshire. As well as offering an opportunity to grow local, organic fruit the orchard is being managed for the benefit of wildlife and to create space for social events.
Find out more about the orchard and Apple Day events by visiting the BEES website:



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53° 46' 39.9252" N, 1° 44' 34.3608" W

Community Space Challenge

The City of Bradford YMCA with BEES (Bradford Environmental Education Service) are delivering the Community Space Challenge (CSC). This is a national initiative funded by the Big Lottery Fund and managed by national charity Crime Concern.

Community Space Challenge seeks to inspire disaffected young people who are referred to the project to increase their environmental awareness and complete projects to improve their neighbourhoods e.g. allotment projects, sensory gardens and litter picking.


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Wildlife Field Visit Programme

BEES wildlife field visit group is organised and led by experienced volunteers and is an opportunity for people interested in birds, flowers, trees and geology to visit sites in the Bradford District, across Yorkshire and beyond. Sites are chosen for their diversity of natural history and landscape features. The group goes out on Tuesday - weekly in the summer but less frequently in the winter. There is a small charge to cover the cost of the minibus transport provided.
There is a mailing list you can join. Trips need to be booked for in advance. Minibus departs from The Italian Centre, 68 Little Horton Lane.

Please follow this link to the current programme


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53° 47' 13.5888" N, 1° 45' 32.1048" W

Advice and Support about growing fruit

If you are planning an orchard or small fruit growing project we can advise you on choosing varieties and establishing plants. We can support schools, community groups and businesses in planting the trees.

Advice, Support and Consultation

We can offer advice to schools, community groups, businesses and individuals with environmental questions. This may help with establishing a project such as a fruit growing area or wildlife garden.

We work to support local initiatives for environmental improvement by being involved in the consultation phase and supporting implementation. This service can extend to projects where we do not intend to be involved in the practical implementation but can support consultations with expert advice and project planning.

After School Groups

BEES have run after school clubs at various primary schools for many years. Topics have covered a variety of environmental themes but tend to focus on wildlife and nature. Examples of projects include bird identification, making bird feeders and nestboxes and taking part in the RSPB big garden birdwatch; wildflower growing and identification; vegetable growing; making recycled paper; seasonal art and crafts. Activities complement the national curriculum.

Conservation volunteering (BEES)

BEES work on a number of urban and urban fringe sites, managing them for the benefit of wildlife and local people. We offer an opportunity for anybody interested in nature conservation or people keen to help maintain local areas and make a positive impact on the local environment. No previous experience is necessary; training will be given on the day.

Link to BEES programme of practical conservation volunteer days:

Corporate Volunteering

We offer the opportunity for companies to carry out practical conservation work in local environmental areas. This will support their corporate responsibility aspirations. These activities can also contribute to team building sessions in a community setting. This is in addition to the opportunity for individuals to join the conservation volunteer group on a weekly basis. Please visit the BEES website for more information about the projects and places we work at.

Environmental Activities at Events

BEES can deliver activities at larger events. We currently offer activities such as bird/bat box making, making bird feeders, wild flower seed planting, art/craft activities (these have included making 'minibeasts' from pompoms, creating pop-up herons, willow and tissue bees and birds). Our focus is usually about engaging people in natural history but we also run recycling activities such as making musical rattles from bottle tops and purses from tetrapaks. We are able to create an activity to suit the event.
We have a pole lathe and are able to offer basic demonstrations of wood turning (subject to availability of operator).

Since 2000 we have been instrumental in organising Bradford Apple Day, with other members of Bradford Apple Group. This is a celebration of the heritage of orchards and the biodiversity they contain. We currently hold the event at Bowling Park Communiy Orchard each October, offering a cafe, fresh juice, horticultural advice, apples and trees for sale, art and children's activities. The event attracted over 600 people in 2008.

Environmental Education Sessions

We manage a small urban nature reserve on the University Campus, Laisteridge Lane. This is an ideal place for nature studies including pond dipping, woodland study and grassland observations (minibeasts, flowers, seed and seed dispersal). The Reserve has two medium sized ponds and is home to butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies and many bird species. The best time for these sessions is in the summer term, but it is possible at other times of the year as well. It is also possible to run these sessions at Bowling Park Community Orchard, BD4.

Habitat Management/Creation

We manage and create habitats for wildlife. We can offer this service or support and advise community groups and businesses. We manage two of our own sites (BEES Urban Nature Reserve and Bowling Park Community Orchard) and work on behalf of the Council's Countryside and Rights of Way team to manage areas such as Boars Well Urban Wildlife Area, Baildon Moor, Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area and Reevy Mill Dam. More about these places can be found on BEES website.
Most of this work is done with the BEES Conservation Volunteer Volunteer Group which meets once a week. We are able to include new projects in this programme or work directly with other community groups to create wildlife habitats and support groups in developing a sustainable management plan for areas. The extent of any project undertaken will vary and will depend on funding available and, more importantly, the scope for managing the project in the future.

Playschemes, youth groups, visits to nature reserves

We can deliver sessions for playschemes and youth and community groups. This can be at the groups own centre or at one of our sites - eg pond dipping at our Urban Nature Reserve, painting or a bbq at Bowling Park Community Orchard, a walk and games in local woods etc.