The HIVE is one of our most interactive and inspiring projects based at the fantastic Moss Bank Park, Bolton
A series of unique garden and outdoor spaces can be explored off our accessible footpaths, including a terrace backyard, sensory garden, wildlife-friendly garden, community food growing space and 'slow the flow' garden (2017 Tatton Best Show Garden).
A mud kitchen, willow domes, fairy garden, log train, series of wildlife sculptures, dinosaur garden and other natural play features all sit alongside our show gardens to provide hands-on fun and imaginative play for little and big ones.
As well as stimulating ideas for your home and community the surrounding hedges, orchard, meadows, mature woodland and shrub beds have been designed to create a space that is perfect for relaxation and reflection either individually or as a family.
What do we do at the HIVE?
From growing our own to encouraging hands-on interaction with the natural world, the HIVE is a real hub for wildlife and families alike.
Whilst our show gardens are designed primarily as public attractions, we work as hard as possible to nurture them as productive food growing spaces throughout the year.
Our team of gardening volunteers are the driving force behind keeping our gardens in tip-top condition and with the addition of polytunnels, the gardens are a great place for visitors of all ages to get inspired to grow, cook and eat fresh, healthy, local food.
The HIVE is designed with wildlife in mind and alongside our growing beds are pollinator-friendly plants. The network of show gardens and polytunnels are linked by fruit trees, meadows, and nettle and thistle beds, all of which are visited by bees from our resident HIVE. No nasty chemicals are added to our gardens.
Food grown on-site is utilised in the Café at Moss Bank Park, harvested and shared amongst our volunteers and used for school tasting workshops. Any surplus is offered to the public for donation at our regular events.
If you are interested in joining our team of volunteer growers click here for more details.
With secure access, no dogs and a litter-free site, the HIVE has become a favourite site for reception and KS1 classes.
Whilst the HIVE specialises in plants and minibeasts, other programmes can be delivered with a growing interest in den-building and environmental art.
Please click here for more information on education services.
Events and activities
Every Tuesday and Friday morning we run Nature Tots: our well-established play programme focused on getting pre-schoolers in touch with wildlife and the outdoors. For more details and to book, please click here.
At the weekend and during school holidays we host regular family open days which provide access to our show gardens and interactive spaces, as well as providing a self-guided activity. You can keep up to date with all our HIVE events by checking our events page or 'Liking' the HIVE on Facebook.
Would you like to throw your little ones an adventurous outdoor party? At the HIVE we offer ‘WILD’ birthday parties including Pirates!, Dinosaurs, Magic & Fairies and Tribal Survival themes. Click here for more information about these interactive and fun-filled parties.
Be part of the HIVE community
The success of the HIVE is down to the active involvement of the community in its development and maintenance.
Would you like to be part of this special community? Regular practical volunteering programmes are hosted at the HIVE every Tuesday and Friday afternoon to help maintain the show gardens and wider outdoor spaces. Interested? Click the button below.
A number of people also help to assist and lead our education sessions, family events and pre-school programme. Click the button below and register to become a volunteer to enquire about current opportunities.
Moss Bank Park,