Northern Roots Beekeeping Hub

Northern Roots is creating the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park on 160 acres of green space in the heart of Oldham, Greater Manchester.

We’re at the very beginning of this journey and are running a number of pilot projects to engage and involve local communities in the development of Northern Roots. One of our first pilot projects is the Northern Roots Beekeeping Hub, an opportunity for local people and community groups in Oldham to learn about beekeeping and explore it as a business opportunity.

We are delighted to announce that we’ve just appointed Oldham-based beekeeper Cath Charnock to lead the Northern Roots Beekeeping Hub. Cath comes with a wealth of expertise, a passion for engaging and supporting people, and a track record in running beekeeping projects.

‘I’m very excited about being awarded the Northern Roots Beekeeping Hub contract, meeting community groups, teaching people about bees. Everything about bees is good. They’re good for the environment, pollinating the flowers in our gardens and the food on our tables – amazing little creatures just buzzing around doing their jobs’ Cath Charnock, Northern Roots Beekeeper

We’re particularly happy to be sharing news of Cath’s appointment on World Bee Day, which is celebrated on 20th May every year. Its purpose is to acknowledge the role of honey bees and other pollinators in the health and stability of the global ecosystem and our own food supply.

Cath’s first job will be to help set up and look after a number of bee hives.  When they’re ready, we will open applications for members of the local community to get involved in the Northern Roots Beekeeping training programme.  We’ll be sharing more details about that in the coming weeks, so do keep an eye on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram platforms for more information.

The Northern Roots Beekeeping Hub has been made possible by funding from the Northern Roots Food Enterprise Fund.  This fund was established as a result of Oldham Council working with partners throughout the EU on the Food Chains 4 EU project, which is funded through the INTERREG Europe program.

FoodChains 4 Europe is a European project that is investigating how regional food chains can be made more sustainable. Oldham Council have partnered with organisations from 4 other European regions – Flevoland (NL), Plovdiv/Sofia (BG), Emilia-Romagna (IT), and Maramures (RO) –  and Manchester Metropolitan University, to develop innovation that contributes to the environmental sustainability of food chains, and will work in partnership with research organisations and food sector businesses to implement beneficial changes.

My passion for bees began when I stood under a pear tree and held a box for the guy next door when he collected a swarm; it was fascinating. Some years later I took up the hobby with my son and it has now turned into an obsession! I’m very excited about being awarded the Beekeeping Hub contract. Beekeeping has been life changing for my son and me.  Hopefully we can repay that and change a few more lives along the way

Cath Charnock, Northern Roots Beekeeper

The bee is the wisest and cleverest of all animals and the closest to man in intelligence; its work is truly divine and of the greatest use to mankind

Geoponika, 10th century Byzantine text on agriculture