Barra Night Life  is a collaborative partnership event part of the ‘Linking the Landscape and Communities’ work between the Islands and Bays of Barrow’s Coastal Communities –  ‘Landscape Working Party’ and Art Gene’s Allotment Soup project.

Barra Nite life engaged local people with our amazing landscape and natural environment, on our base at the Isle of Walney Community Growing Space on Mill Lane, Walney Island, Barrow.  The team were keen to provide an opportunity for an overnight interaction with the local wildlife, through a camp out, with bat detecting walks, moth traps, themed films, allotment produced hot food and time enjoy the natural environment in a family friendly urban-natural setting. The event was organised as part of our full programme of ‘Linking the landscape and Communities’ activities over this Summer.

The  Isle of Walney Community Growing Spacspace is part of the Allotment Soup project, which gives opportunity to local residents to grow their own vegetables and plants in an open but supported growing environment.  With an already growing allotment community,  Art Gene aims for non-allotment holders to enjoy the space too. The space is there for all the community to enjoy and engage with. We have a large field with lots of plans underway, a pond project, an orchard, wild flower area and plenty of grassland, all of it teeming with wildlife.  Just ready for some young upcoming naturalists to observe and identify what we have living right under our noses.

The Landscape Working Party‘s role is dedicated to exploring, re-invigorating and enhancing local green spaces, linking the community to landscape, improving health and well-being.  With plans a foot to re-wild an area on the allotment growing space, community understanding and interaction is key for it to be a success.  Community engagement in the process will bring about a revived interest and safeguarding for the future generations.

This one was particularly special with overnight camping, bat detecting, moth traps and food!  A lovely way families, young and old, could come together and see what wild creatures come to life in the dark dark night time!  The aim being always enjoyment but hopefully to learn some new skills along the way too!

Check out this little extract of film to get a flavour. The full film to follow soon!

The Nights activities

After a little spruce up on the field, the team were ready to receive families and friends to the Isle of Walney Community Growing Space on Mill lane.  With plenty organised for all interests and ages.  On arrival guests were greeted with a  tour of the site and facilities and they claimed their overnight camping spot  by the pond.


Blackberry picking and jam making led by Allotment Soup Artist Hannah Brackston went down well with everyone, especially the young ones in the group.

Artist-in-Reidence for Allotment Soup Hannah Brackston showing the families how to make Blackberry Jam after a bumper forage!

Director Co-Founder of Art Gene Maddi Nicholson making a bit of a stir fry for the troops!

Once it was dark the Landscape Working Party’s Ecologist Eve Mulholland led Bat detecting walks for groups and Moth Trapping throughout the evening in Hannah Brackston’s moth trap installations.
The Allotment Soup bumper harvest of courgettes made an enormous  – courgette and noodle stir fry, to feed the guests.  Cooked under canvas  and eaten out on the specially fabricated table of lights. Followed by a curated screening of films, and bonfire marshmallows.

Special communal table for coming together for food and film

Jam and Moths – The next mornings fry up,  was supplemented with Allotment Soup – Blackberry jam made the night before.
A myriad of moths were extracted from the Moth traps, ID-ing finished off the mornings activities.

Hannah Brackston’s beautiful moth trap installations

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We hope to do this as an event again next year but in the mean time we have plenty more activities coming up!  If you would like to know more please sign up to our mailing list here.

Bonfire and stories

Header image: Moth Traps : Rachel Capovila

Photos and film: Rachel Capovila

Interviews by Chloe & Alex

Drone Footage: Nicos Nicholaides

We are kindly supported by the following funders and organizations:


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