Create buzz around plans for a bee farm in Hebburn Park

After being approached by a beekeeper, South Tyneside Council, in its role as Charity Trustee, considered proposals for Carr Ellison Park.

This includes granting a lease of the former park warden lodge and adjacent land to prepare the land for the development of a bee farm.

Subject to planning permission, the building is intended to become a beekeeping training and education center with an observatory, beehives and a tea room.

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There are plans for a bee farm in a park in South Tyneside.

The new center would also offer beekeeping classes and aims to generate wider community interest in environmental issues, as well as increase the number of visitors to the park.

During a borough council meeting on June 30, 2022, councilors voted unanimously to support the next steps of the bee farm project.

This included agreeing in principle a six-year lease for the park pavilion and other nearby land and administrative arrangements for the council going forward.

Councilor Ernest Gibson, member responsible for transport and neighborhoods, presented a report on the proposals to councilors at South Shields Town Hall.

Flowers in Hebburn’s Carr Ellison Park in a previous year.

Cllr Gibson said: ‘The council is the owner of Carr Ellison Park, which has been held in trust forever as a public park for recreational use.

“When making decisions about the park, the council must ensure that it complies with the Charity Commission and the Charity Act, acting in the best interests of all charities.

“The former pavilion of the park warden has been unused since 2015 and the municipality has been approached by a beekeeper who wishes to invest in the building to establish a bee farm there.

“There are three conditions that the board must consider in connection with this transaction […] according to the report, the council should be reassured that the conditions are met.

South Tyneside Council is the freehold owner of Carr Ellison Park and the land was acquired by Hebburn Urban District Council in March 1920 from Ralph Carr-Ellison.

Under the terms of the initial transfer, a charitable trust was created, with the council holding the park as a charitable trustee and being authorized to make decisions about leasing the land.

The park warden’s lodge is believed to predate Ralph Carr-Ellison’s 1920 donation and has been vacant since around 2015.

Under new proposals for the building, a lease would be granted to a newly incorporated charity specifically for the purpose of operating a bee farm.

Councilor Wilf Flynn, Ward Councilor for Hebburn South, welcomed the proposals presented to full council.

Cllr Flynn told the meeting: “The [park keeper’s lodge] sat empty for around eight years and councilors from Hebburn South were called in six years ago to discuss the future, but we were tied down by legal issues and contractual issues between the two.

“I’m just happy that the [beekeeper] is still there because he’s been involved for about three years now, so that’s progress.

Following full council approval, the necessary planning permissions must be obtained before work can begin.

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