The Mobile Apothecary
Bethnal Green Nature Reserve
Bethnal Green Nature Reserve
Mobile Apothecary Corner of Bethnal Green + Cambridge Heath Rd 7pm – 8pm Sunday, 28th May 2023 The Mobile Apothecary returns this Sunday offering free homegrown and communally-made herbal remedies for our neighbourhood. We always serve on the Corner of Bethnal Green Rd + Cambridge Heath Rd, just outside the Bethnal Green Tube Station. The Mobile Apothecary work alongside alongside the Refugee Community Kitchen who offer free, nutritious vegetarian food each week. Photo - a cluster of fresh Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) leaves growing at the Phytology Medicine Garden, Bethnal Green. Yarrow is one of four herbs in our Good Skin balm recipe. @mobileapothecary
Misery Medicine in residence at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve ~ for Queer, Trans, Black, People of Colour (QTBPOC). Bethnal Green Nature Reserve 12pm - 3pm, 3rd June 2023 Are you curious about medicinal herbs & their histories of healing? Are you realising you're appreciating the outdoors & breathing fresh air like never before? Misery has got you! @miseryparty are a mental health collective centring healing for queer / trans / non-binary black people and people of colour. Over the summer Misery will be hosting monthly walks around the Phytology medicine gardens and wider Bethnal Green Nature Reserve site. The main session runs from 12-3pm, with an optional open hour from 3-4pm for socialising, exploring the Nature Reserve, sharing readings or other offerings, and winding down together. We have x10 comps for local QTBPOC residents living in the estates neighbouring the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve - located within the area of Cambridge Heath Rd, Hackney Rd, Warner Place & Bethnal Green Road. If thats you, please email email@example.com with your street name to reserve your place. You can subscribe to Misery’s mailing list via the link in bio ⬆️ Tickets are now sliding scale but Misery events will always be free and available to those who need it. Poster illustration by Firpal Jawanda @firpal
Phytology / Bethnal Green Nature Reserve ~ Summer & Autumn Opening times: 2pm - 5pm Saturday, 6th May - 26th November, 2023. May is finally here and we are excited to re-open the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve 2pm - 5pm each Saturday. Come and explore the woodlands, ponds, medicine garden and mushroom farm as the land changes across the summer and autumn months. The site team are always happy to share information on ways to get involved and help care of the Nature Reserve throughout the year. Weekly volunteering takes place each Saturday 11am - 1pm, 6th May till 25th November 2023. We will have x10 places for new and existing volunteers each week. These sessions are a great way to learn about the Nature Reserve, helping to nurture this remarkable urban oasis. Across spring we will be recruiting people to help take care of specific ecosystems within the Nature Reserve. These include nurturing the woodland, wetland care, mushroom farm watering, and bat habitat surveying. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us. Photo: white Hawthorn flowers surrounded by fresh green leaves
To those of you who are collectors of photography and visual media, there are two limited-edition print series produced with artist George Chakravarthi from his residency project AUM which took place at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, 2020-2022. Both series feature the Trimurti, the powerful grouping of the Hindu deities: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. AUM postcard is a free edition, of 400 envelopes featuring the three images we have previewed this month that can be collected from BGNR or posted to you. AUM signed limited edition folio box, is a digital print collection of 9 images in an edition of 3 priced at £600.00, featuring an expanded visual repertoire of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva (2022). Visit our link in the bio for full details at: www.bethnalgreennaturereserve.org Product specification: x 9 printed artworks (210 × 210mm), printed on German etching paper, hand-mounted on 2mm board, × 1 printed text sheet on ‘wallpaper’ grade inkjet paper, digital print, 210 × 690mm. Handmade box and cover sheet, 230mm square box with clamshell lid 25mm thick, no inner wall. Brown book cloth outer, orange book cloth inner, foil-blocked in gold on the lid and spine. £600.00 plus postage & handling. Images courtesy of George Chakravarthi. Supported by Arts Council England and the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust @iamgeorgechakravarthi @phytologyuk @acegrams
Mobile Apothecary Corner of Bethnal Green + Cambridge Heath Rd 7pm – 8pm Sunday, 30th April 2023 The Mobile Apothecary returns this April, offering high-quality, homegrown and communally-made herbal remedies for our neighbourhood. We always serve on the Corner of Bethnal Green Rd + Cambridge Heath Rd, just outside the Bethnal Green Tube Station. The Mobile Apothecary work alongside the Refugee Community Kitchen who offer free, nutritious vegetarian food each week. Over the spring & summer months we will be foraging for fresh herbs in various parks and green spaces around Bethnal Green. Let us know if you would like to join us, learning some foraging techniques, medicine making processes and information on soil health across the city. Please email email@example.com if you would like to participate. You can also check out our new website via link in bio - www.mobileapothecary.org.uk Photos: 1st photo shows a cluster of purple-blue Borage flowers and buds growing in a green verge. 2nd freshly picked and dried daisy infusing in almond oil for our muscle and joint rub.
Shiva the Destroyer is the third god of the holy trinity formed with Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Preserver. Together they personify the cyclical regeneration of the Universe, and in artist George Chakravarthi’s project, AUM, their unification is represented in trees, and their reverence in Hindu tree rituals. Chakravarthi speaks of how the processes of regeneration are informing his approach to life and his artistic practice: “…but I do want and need to give this aspect of my work some context, I do. It's really important to think about the body beyond gender and sexuality. It's important to know and experience what happens to the body when it turns against you and then what happens to the mind, then what happens to the heart… and then what happens to the people around you, and your world view. It’s a knock-on effect, and pain can be really transformative if we accept it and love ourselves into healing, it awakens you from the trance… The privilege of being an artist is that you can find ways in which to share some expression of these ideas. It also serves as an immense and valuable contribution to conversations about the body, nature and about aligning the body with the natural cycles. I felt like that's what my body and my mind were doing, going through a really severe cycle of change and transformation. It’s made me a calmer person and I'm kinder to myself, I'm gentler, more compassionate with myself, you know, these are things that I've struggled with for years having been incredibly punishing and hard on myself. And as a result, I’m much more compassionate with other people. I’m now much more motivated by the light instead of the dark. I'm not saying that those characteristics have completely left me, but my awareness is incredibly high, and that level of awareness changes the entire dynamic.” Get in contact at: www.BethnalGreenNatureReserve.org to receive or collect AUM a free limited edition postcard pack of the three images we have previewed. Supported by Arts Council England and the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust @iamgeorgechakravarthi @phytologyuk @acegrams Image: AUM Shiva, courtesy of George Chakravarthi.
Birds of Bethnal Green: a spring bird walk with Jane Mutiny. Bethnal Green Nature Reserve 2pm - 4pm Saturday, 22nd April 2023 Spring has finally arrived in the Northern hemisphere and our feathered friends are busy building nests and raising young. This is the ideal time to explore the habitat of some our most iconic garden bird species, along with more rare feathered residents of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. Join local ornithologists, Jane Mutiny, and learn how to identify our avian friends and build ideal urban habitats they rely upon. We have x5 free places, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join. A heron visited our ecology pond earlier this week, the fist sighting of this incredible bird at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. This visit is most likely due to our relatively new ecology pond, which is home for an abundant population of newts. An encouraging sign for our ongoing habitat building work within the Nature Reserve. Photo by Damian Jaques. Image: A single heron stands tall on the bank of a large freshwater pond. The heron is surrounded by green foliage & wood-chipped pathways. @jane_mutiny
Vishnu the Preserver is the second god of the Trimurti, the divine Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Shiva featuring in George Chakravarthi’s, AUM. In Hinduism, the tree symbolically represents the unification of all three gods. Vishnu represents the trunk of the tree. In the following second extract from AUM a conversation between artist George Chakravarthi and curator Adelaide Bannerman, the artist shares insight on the shift in his practice responding to his spiritual awakening: “...I've never ever thought about my body and the image of who I am in such specific depth, albeit with the awareness that it’s an integral part of my work, but those strategies no longer applied, they no longer had any relevance to the person I'd become in those six months. It was like my body isn't limited to this, artistically or personally. It's about so much more and though I’d always known much of this instinctively, I hadn’t allowed myself to commit to those areas of thoughts… there was a moment of surrender. I had to get on with making the projects I had been working on, which had nothing to do with what was going on with me at that point in time. It was like being on autopilot, just continuing in the familiar terrain by meeting everyone’s expectations… “ “Having suddenly gone into an internal space made me realise how comfortable people are about talking about the external world, external self. When you start talking about the internal world or the inner workings of a body and mind, people are either deeply uncomfortable or incapable of going there. I think that's partly because they don't know where to start or where to go, or they think they're going to have to become as vulnerable as the work to have that dialogue, which is probably somewhat true. That wasn't particularly a great problem to me, just an interesting observation.” Visit our link in the bio for full details at: www.BethnalGreenNatureReserve.org Image: AUM Vishnu, courtesy of George Chakravarthi. Supported by Arts Council England and the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust @iamgeorgechakravarthi @phytologyuk @acegrams
This image by artist George Chakravarthi is of the god Brahma the Creator who is one of the Trimurti - the divine Hindu trinity formed of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This rendition of Brahma features in the free limited edition postcard pack, which can be collected on arrangement from Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, visit our link in the bio to get in contact: www.BethnalGreenNatureReserve.org Taken from AUM, a conversation between artist George Chakravarthi and curator Adelaide Bannerman, this is the first of three interview extracts where the artist recalls his research and experiences underlying the development of a specific and ongoing body of work that he’s been exploring that visually merges flora and flesh to form mandalas – geometric visual configurations that help focus attention, evoke spiritually and support meditation. "I had spent most of that period bedridden and horizontal because I couldn't do anything else. We had a walnut tree in the garden, which was the only thing I could see through our bedroom window and it became my sole focus of attention, a portal and my focal point of meditation, even though I didn't even think of it as a meditation at the time. But it was the only thing I could see and the only thing I could relate to. It was during autumn, so the leaves were falling, adapting to the climate and cyclical change and preparing to regenerate, a bit like myself. I didn't even think about these things in any particularly meaningful way, but the tree just became a reflection of what was happening to me." Supported by Arts Council England and the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust. Visit the online gallery (link in bio). @iamgeorgechakravarthi @phytologyuk @acegrams Image: AUM Brahma, courtesy of George Chakravarthi.
From April 2023, we will release the online exhibition project pages for, We Speak In Tongues About The Things We Love, the residency programme shaped for Bethnal Green Nature Reserve (BGNR) by curator, Adelaide Bannerman (2020-2022). The participating residents included: Daze Aghaji, Eduardo Padilha, Farzana Khan, and George Chakravarthi. The project pages will feature documentation capturing each of the resident’s reflections from their time at BGNR, including artistic works and public programming conceived to illuminate each individual’s research interests during the period, and beyond, now to be shared with wider audiences. We are starting with multidisciplinary artist George Chakravarthi’s project titled AUM, a spiritual rumination merging divine and mystical knowledge systems, with the artist’s body and the natural world. We will be sharing extracts of the project on social media over the next few weeks. Full project details are available at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve website at (link in bio): www.BethnalGreenNatureReserve.org We recommend also visiting George’s website www.georgechakravarthi.com and Instagram @iamgeorgechakravarthi Image courtesy of George Chakravarthi
Mobile Apothecary will be serving on the Corner of Bethnal Green + Cambridge Heath Rd: 7pm – 8pm Sunday, 26th March 2023 We serve alongside the Refugee Community Kitchen on the final Sunday of each month. The Mobile Apothecary offers underserved communities high quality, homegrown and communally-made herbal remedies. Good Skin Balm is one of several remedies will will be offering on the street service this month. This body and face balm is ideal for repairing and nurturing sensitive skin. It can be used for chapped lips, dry, flaky or rough skin, stretch marks, blemishes, blisters, minor scars and sun burn. It can be used on hands, feet, face, hair and scalp. Photos: A. Freshly made skin balm cooling off and slowly setting in round aluminium pots. The balm is made with lavender essential oil, almond oil, bees wax and four herbs incredible herbs - Ribwort Plantain, Yarrow, Marshmallow, Chamomile. B. A stack of skin balm pots with Mobile Apothecary labels ready for distribution on the Mobile Apothecary street service. C. Image of a hand harvesting a freshly picked Yarrow leaf for our skin balm. Applied to the skin, yarrow is known to soothe eczema, reduce inflammation, fight bacteria, and heal wounds. @mobileapothecary @refugeecommunitykitchen
The Mobile Apothecary will be serving on the corner of Bethnal Green Rd + Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green: 7pm – 8pm, Sunday 26th February 2023. The Mobile Apothecary supports underserved communities in the locality with high-quality, free, homegrown and communally-made herbal remedies. We will be serving alongside @refugeecommunitykitchen. All welcome! Photo - The Mobile Apothecary cargo bike parked outside the Bethnal Green Tube Station surrounded by the busy city with buses and pedestrians passing by. Two people stand behind a cargo bike ready to serve up herbal teas, medicine products (including cough syrup, decongestant rub, immune support vinegars etc) and warm socks 🧦 for cold nights. @mobileapothecary
‘We Extend Ourselves Towards Each Other's Aliveness’ Billboard by Farzana Khan & Sarah Al-Sarraj. Farzana Khan was artist in residence at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve during 2022, and part of, ‘We Speak In Tongues About The Thing(s) We Love’ programme curated by Adelaide Bannerman for the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. The billboard quote originates from writing Farzana made and shared during her residency, which explored, what grief, loss, and trauma is, and how the process of healing can lead to understanding ’aliveness’ – the state of being alive. What does that mean to us as individuals and communities? Aliveness is more than being physically present, it’s a generative approach and feeling that pulsates, and reaches deeply, amongst beings. We Extend Ourselves Towards Each Other's Aliveness, invites us to consider what it means to access and offer each other life during times of multiple and cascading losses of many kinds. How do we commit to our own and each other’s aliveness whilst honouring grief, practices of liberation and survival? In conversation with Farzana, artist Sarah Al-Sarraj visually interpreted the quote, into a painting which responds to Farzana’s Curanderismo - a Latin-American folk practice rooted in plant-based traditional medicine and healing. The plant Marigold, also known as Calendula, adorns the image. Marigold is often used in healing wounds and guiding in new life. Its petals and the entire flower are used in spiritual offerings across different cultural and spiritual traditions, including Farzana’s South Asian heritage that she draws from. #RehearsingFreedoms Translation by Rittika Dasgupta. Connect with Farzana: Twitter @khankfarza IG: Farzana.K.khan Web: www.healingjusticeldn.org Photo of large billboard hoarding standing in front of an urban woodland. Large white lettering reads ‘We extend ourselves towards each others Aliveness’ by Farzana Khan #RehersingFreedoms. The writing is in both English and Bengali. Surrounding the text are marigold flowers and four colourful birds in mid flight. Photo by @adelaide.bannerman. Supported by Arts Council England.
The Mobile Apothecary street service returns: 7pm - 8pm, 29th January 2023 Corner of Bethnal Green Rd & Cambridge Heath Rd Bethnal Green, London The Mobile Apothecary supports communities in the locality with high-quality, free, homegrown and communally made herbal remedies. All welcome! This Sunday you can pick up our freshly made Muscle & Joint Rub. Ingredients include Daisy, Comfrey, Chilli & Ginger, infused in apricot kernel & sweet almond oils. This product is great for winter aches and pains, especially good for sore ligaments, muscles and bones. All herbs have been sources locally at the Phytology Medicine Garden & Victoria Park, London. We only forage when we are confident the soils are pesticide and contamination free (lead, asbestos, petrochemical etc). Get in touch if you want to hear more about our soil research in the East End. Images in order; 1, 2, 3 - Volunteers collecting fresh picked Daisies from Victoria Park, London. Daisies bagged up ready for a cold wash before drying in the sun. 4, Muscle & Joint Rub freshly poured and slowly setting in aluminium pots (without lids). 5, Muscle & Joint Rub in an aluminium pot with Mobile Apothecary logo. @phytologyuk @mobileapothecary
Our Annual General Meeting is taking place online this Sunday morning. 10am - 11:30am (GMT), Sunday 22nd January 2023 Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7359489170 Meeting ID: 735 948 9170 Your presence is a great way to support the Charity that governs the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. Hear news from the past year and discuss plans for 2023. All welcome! Agenda: ~ 10:00am Welcome from the Chair ~ 10:05am Governance, key holder scheme, volunteering ~ 10:10am Forest School (5 min) ~ 10:15am Phytology medicine garden (10 min) ~ 10:25am Ecology (10 min) ~ 10:35am Mycelium project (10 min) ~ 10:45am Mobile Apothecary (10 min) ~ 10:55am Arts (10 min) ~ 11:05am Community Forum (10 min) ~ 11:15am Financial Statements, Appointment of auditors (5 mins) ~ 11:20am Retiring and Appointing of Trustees, Any other business (10 mins) ~ 11:30am Chairs closing comments Photo of our neighbours and friends sitting around an open fire at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. Image by Amir.
A massive heartfelt thanks to everyone who showed up to share time, knowledge & care at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve over the past twelve months. You all make this wild and tenacious piece of land such a remarkable and unique haven in the middle of the city. Here’s to the year ahead! Photo - an aerial photo of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve taken in December 2022. You can see the woodlands, pond & Phytology medicine garden against the backdrop of a snow covered city. Photo by Sam Kingfisher.
The Garden Cross Spider (Araneus diadematus) is one of the largest spiders found in the UK, a very common resident in most gardens and parks. The distinctive white cross mark on the abdomen has given rise to its common name. Colours vary and include sandy brown, fox-red and almost black. They are easily seen between June and November, before the first frosts of winter kill them off. The Garden Cross Spider webs are built by the larger females, which hang head down in the centre of the web or remain hidden in nearby foliage, with one claw hooked to a signal line connected to the main orb, waiting for a disturbance to signal the arrival of prey. Prey is quickly bitten and wrapped in silk (to be stored for later consumption). The initial bite serves to paralyse the prey and minimise the danger of the spider herself being stung or bitten, and the enzymes injected serve to begin liquefaction of the prey's internal structures. This photograph was taken at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve by Gino Brignoli, entomologist and neighbour of the Nature Reserve. You can see more of Gino’s photos here @gino_brignoli. Source references for further reading on this remarkable being can be found here: https://britishspiders.org.uk/araneus-diadematus. What does the drastic decline in insect populations mean for our lives? Insects are a crucial part of our way of life. They are experts in pollination, pest control, and decomposing corpses, and yet humans don’t seem to spend a lot of time thinking about them. But with populations in decline due to habitat loss, pesticides and the climate crisis, what would our world look like without them? Scientists are warning that we ignore these animals at our peril. In recent decades they have detected a stark drop in the number of insects. These tiny creatures, often dismissed as an annoyance, play a vital role in making the Earth habitable. Check out the podcast (link in bio) by The Guardian’s Oliver Milman - exploring the miraculous creatures and how they play a vital role in making the Earth habitable. The Experimental Ecology project was generously supported by Awards for All ‘Together for Our Planet’ fund. @TNLCommunityFund
Reflections on the Wetland Enhancement project Part 6 - Local knowledge (continued) The last post shared from our external site visits and consultations during the Wetland Enhancement project and Ecology Internship. Our learning was also informed by workshops and conversations held in Bethnal Green. Visit our website to read about the enriching conversations, tours and workshops we had with: @hayley_harrison_ Nick Bridge @shumaisakhan @jane_mutiny @adelaide.bannerman @dazeaghaji @pocockjoanna and Andrea Cox. “Some of the wonderful people who nourished our thinking included Hayley Harrison, a multidisciplinary artist in residence at Phytology in 2021. Hayley works “with people, forgotten spaces and abandoned materials (human and non-human) to start conversations about our relationships with each other, places we call home and the non-human world”. In response to her installation displayed throughout the site last year, I thought about how we often project human emotions, assumptions, desires, voices, and ways of creating meaning onto other beings. But how do other living beings experience the world? How do human-made entities find place and relationship in ecological communities? I think of the kebab boxes that can sometimes be found at the site’s margins, discarded by people, enjoyed by foxes, discarded again. If left, they could potentially take up residence for decades or centuries. I also think of the wartime bomb ruins and rubble throughout the woodland that now form part of the site’s terrain and soil composition. The existence of artificial or waste materials in designated sites for nature can raise tensions between romantic ideals of pristine wilderness and the realities of urban habitat management. I hope that there can be space to appreciate the complexity and hybridity of these worlds, which are not altogether human nor non-human. It is also possible to approach contaminants (both actual and metaphorical) curiously, to sensitively consider their histories, and the web of impacts that different objects and materials bring to the site.” With thanks to all of our mentors — continued on phytology.org.uk (link in bio).
We have just made a fresh batch of Good Botanics Skin Balm in time for the winter holidays. Our final pre Christmas postal orders will go out on Monday 10th December 2022. A modern classic, GOOD Skin Balm is a plant-based body and face balm for repairing and nurturing sensitive skin. It is used for chapped lips, dry, flaky or rough skin, stretch marks, blemishes, blisters, minor scars and sun burn. It can be used on hands, feet, face, hair and scalp. Ingredients Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Almond Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Lavender Essential Oil. 60ml & 30ml. Best before 12 months after opening. Free from palm oil, chemicals and cruelty. Our packaging is 100% recyclable. Produced in Bethnal Green, London. Check out our online shop in the bio link above.
The Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) has come to be considered as one of the most variable and prevalent insect species in the world. It is native to eastern Asia, but has been introduced to North America and Europe to control aphids and scale insects. It’s populations are now on the rise in both Africa and South America. The host plant list for the Harlequin is diverse and extensive; however, it undoubtedly has a preference for Lime and Sycamore trees. It is also commonly associated with herbaceous plants such as Nettle, Thistles, Cow Parsley, Rosebay Willowherb & Fat-hen. Harlequin ladybirds are common in gardens where they can be found on many ornamental plants. This remarkable photograph was taken at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve by Gino Brignoli, entomologist and neighbour of the Nature Reserve. Check out more of Gino’s photos here @gino_brignoli. Source references for further reading: https://www.ukbeetles.co.uk/harmonia-axyridis + https://www.coleoptera.org.uk/species/harmonia-axyridis The 'Experimental Ecology Project' was generously supported by Awards for All ‘Together for Our Planet’ fund. @TNLCommunityFund #NationalLottery
Reflections on the Wetland Enhancement project Part 5 - Local knowledge “A challenge in naming the Wetland Enhancement project was conveying its multidimensionality. It’s quite a formal title for what was experientially a very playful and open experience, centred on a living, beloved part of the neighbourhood. The report is a relatively technical summary of the project (which has its place), but it feels balanced to also represent our time together as it was: joyful, collaborative and experimental. Those of us based at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve had never built a pond before. What made the project possible was the diversity of experiences and ideas held by our extended community in London, which we could collectively consult, share and instigate, and everyone’s care toward the wetland, manifested as immense generosity and commitment. To prepare for designing and building a new pond, we visited wetlands across London and talked with experts in wetland ecology, architecture and habitat management. We were also visited by artists, environmental workers and educators at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve who shared locally specific ecological knowledge and approaches for engaging with the site.” @laa.ya.o Read more about our visits to Lower Regent’s Canal, @fothcp, Camley Street Natural Park, @natural_history_museum, the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity, and Wick Woodland with @rightsforweeds on our website.
The Mobile Apothecary will be serving on the Corner of Bethnal Green Rd + Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green: 7pm – 8pm, Sunday 27th November. We will be serving alongside @refugeecommunitykitchen. The Mobile Apothecary supports underserved communities in the locality with good-quality, homegrown and communally-made herbal remedies. All welcome! Photo - Epsom Salt Deodorant & Body Wash, a relatively new product available over the next few months. A simple and effective way to neutralise odour, keeping skin clean and feeling fresh. Ingredients include; Magnesium Flakes, Sea Salt, Distilled Water, Witch Hazel Tincture, Essential Oils of Lavender and Tea Tree. Usage notes; Daily use as needed for managing body odour and personal hygiene. Do not use on damaged or broken skin. @mobileapothecary
Throughout 2022 Gino Brignoli, local insect expert / entomologist, hosted a series of insect workshops for our neighbours. The workshops celebrated local insect populations found within the Phytology Medicine Garden and Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. Gino taught us all how to use non-lethal, non-destructive methods to survey insect populations living within the Nature Reserve. This project helped adjust our seeing & thinking towards an often overlooked, yet critical community within our ecosystem. Gino is also a brilliant photographer, so over the next few months we will be sharing a pretty incredible collection of insect portraits captured this year. Stay tuned and enjoy the small wonders of our urban habitat here in Bethnal Green. This photos is of a Green Bottle Fly (Lucilia sp. possibly L. sericata), one of the many metallic green species of blowfly. Popular places to find these flies include on or near fruit, meat, rubbish dumps, faeces & dead animals. This fly is mainly found in the outdoors and most commonly in farm areas, but may be found indoors in colder months of the year. @gino_brignoli #bethnalgreennaturereserve #London Source: www.naturespot.org.uk/species/lucilia-sericata The ‘Experimental Ecology Project’ was generously supported by Awards for All ‘Together for Our Planet’ fund. @TNLCommunityFund #NationalLottery
Reflections on the Wetland Enhancement project Part 4 - Wetland excavation Returning to September 25th 2021, the beginning of the 5-week pond refurbishment process and our first day as Ecology Interns. Our first task was to excavate the retired modular pond network. Autumn is a better time to carry out works as it’s a quieter time for newts, who no longer need pond access once the breeding season is over. Our aim was to cause the least disruption possible to the established ecosystem whilst embracing what felt like a paradox: conservation and habitat management can sometimes look like ecocide. Visit our website to read the full post written by Tyra Enchill, and to download the Wetland Enhancement Report. Image descriptions: (1) a photo of the new wetland meadow, which was previously dominated by English ivy. It shows a bright green patch with many different types of plants, some with small, coloured flowers. Photo by Tyra Enchill. (2) a photo showing the partly-excavated modular pond network. Large, interconnected butyl (synthetic rubber) pond liners are mostly drained of water, surrounded by piles of soil and sparse clumps of plants. Photo by Dimuthu Meehitiya. (3) the excavated wetland site: a barren stretch of earth, rocks and soil, inset with a rectangular ditch. Above is a line of trees and vegetation and a blue sky. Photo by Michael Smythe.
Reflections on the Wetland Enhancement project Part 3 - Social-ecological flourishing I don’t think it’s a coincidence that those who are minoritised and disempowered by dominant socioeconomic and political systems are also those most alienated from environmental spaces and movements. Yet I dream of a world where nature and environmental education, including traditional and informal ecological knowledge-making, are accessible to everyone, including (especially) city dwellers, young people and marginalised folks. I often envisage how, together, we might subvert interconnected environmental, ecological and social injustices through local pockets of resistance, knowledge and healing. I wonder: what could biodiversity conservation and environmental movements look like if underrepresented and underserved communities were resourced to lead? How could our communities become more resilient and empowered through environmental education and access? (To quote Dr. Ayesha Khan: “when I say “community”, I don’t just mean other humans. I mean every living entity - plants, animals, microbes and all components of our ecosystems.”) Tyra explores the social/political dimensions of environmental access, education and careers, and shares additional goals of the Wetland Enhancement project. Visit our website to read the full post and report. Image description in comments.
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