BBC R2’s Big Bee Challenge invited young people, 6-12 to design a bee friendly garden. The whole process has been really exciting with hundreds of entries narrowed to a shortlist of 20. The winner has just been announced and the completed garden revealed in all its glory.
Loftus Media asked me to join the R2 breakfast team on location at Doncaster NHS Trust, where the Big Bee garden has been built. Zoe Ball and the whole crew had decamped to the site for a mahoosive outside broadcast of the show. The day before the main event, we got together on location for a crew meet. This was a great opportunity to take some pictures of the venue. I also captured some images of Zoe and weather sidekick Richie, posing with an oversized R2 deckchair. Always nice to get some early shots in the can and uploaded.
The following day, I was back in Doncaster at 5.45am for the big, ‘on air’ reveal. With the sun still coming up, the light was perfect to capture plenty of pictures before anyone else arrived.
Throughout the breakfast show there was a steady stream of guests. I had a fairly extensive shot list including a number of NHS staff. Fortunately, one of the team helped me identify the not so familiar faces and I gradually worked my way through, ticking off the shots as I went.
Of course, the star guest was our winning garden designer. 10-year-old Izabella is from Hampshire and I think was completely in awe of the whole experience. She was clearly thrilled to see her garden come to life and it really is amazing. From the green roof to the wild flowers and the ‘hive’ paving her ideas have produced a space that is uniquely beautiful. And above all, it is super bee friendly! Hopefully, visitors to the garden will be reminded of just how important bees are in maintaining our natural world. And if you need a further reminder you can always check out my pictures of Richie in a giant bee suit. Always memorable!