St Helens shoppers were greeted by a hive of activity when Church Square Shopping Centre went green with two days of family fun.
Among the displays and activities at the centre’s Green Room project was a team from Ormskirk Beekeepers, who introduced shoppers to the amazing world of bees with their special display hive.
With glass sides allowing visitors a peek inside the workings of the bee colony, the complex habitat had everyone intrigued.
The Green Room event, run with St Helens Council’s Healthy Living Team, introduced shoppers young and old to a wealth of outdoor knowledge, in a fun and informative way.
One youngster amazed by the bee display was seven-year-old Cara Walsh, in town with her grandmother Amanda Davies, who found herself spellbound by the display.
Amanda said: “She’s been mesmerised by looking at the bees. I was really surprised as she has ADHD so can’t normally concentrate on one thing for that long but she sat and listened to the whole talk and then had loads of questions so it’s been brilliant. I’m really impressed.”
The activities were led by two characters that engaged the visitors and kept them entertained – Clara Planter and Digby Stomper.
Clara and Digby welcomed youngsters into their Green Room in the centre’s St Mary’s Arcade to learn about health and nature through woodland walks and mindfulness.
They encouraged families to decorate a life-size tree with paper leaves, each bearing a picture or personal pledge to spend more time enjoying trees and nature.
There was also information about the water cycle and healthy walks and activities in local parks as well as arts and crafts.
Little Cara was happy to make her pledge and vowed, “To find and look after bees,” after her earlier inspiring experience.
“I think I might have to go and get a bee collection,” added Amanda, who lives in Fingerpost.
There was also information for visitors about Get Yourself Outdoors, a free walking scheme run by the Healthy Living Team.
Church Square Shopping Centre manager Steve Brogan said: “This has been a great event at the centre over half term with many families enjoying the activities and displays.
“The outdoor environment is a precious and valuable resource and I hope this project has encouraged local people to appreciate and protect it whenever and however we can.”
Another seven-year-old girl enjoying the event was Ellie Turner from Haydock who was in Church Square with her grandmother, Beulah Gornall.
Beulah said: “We were in town shopping for bridesmaid’s shoes for Ellie and just stumbled on this event – it has been great.
“She has been busy at the craft table making a bug and was very interested in looking at the bees too. You can see inside and find out about all the things that they do.
“It has been very informative which is great for the kids but it’s enjoyable as well,” she added.
Church Square Shopping Centre is open daily and home to a range of big name stores – such as H&M, Fat Face, River Island, BHS, Boots and Superdrug – along with independent retailers plus the busy St Mary’s Market.
Details on what’s happening at the centre at www.churchsquaresthelens.co.uk or visit the Church Square Facebook page.