Like the proverbial pig in muck, I’ve taken a genuine liking to jumping in the compost bins at the Castle during my garden apprenticeship. It’s a place to witness first hand the circle of life as scraps from the cafe and climbers rots and turns magically into dark rich compost that we then use to grow delicious new vegetables in.
We are in the season of autumnal abundance, with harvests occurring all over London’s gardens, growing sites and city farms. Hedgerows are plentiful and trees are laden with sweet fruits ready for the picking. Yet in many gardens around the city a great deal of fruit falls to the ground every year simply to return to the earth rather than feeding people. At the same time as this natural supply is ready to drop, the UK is importing apples and pears from countries as diverse as France, New Zealand and the South Africa.
For over ten years The Castle has organised climbing holidays in Northern Spain with Climb Catalunya. Catalunya is graced with excellent weather and a wide variety of crags from adventurous multi-pitch, hard-core tufa-filled caves and friendly single-pitch venues all in the midst of stunning scenery.
It seems ages since we did any major development to the centre. I mean it’s been a whopping 8 months since we opened Wells 1 and 2 and oooh, all of 3 months since we improved the men’s changing rooms, added a new floor of lockers and installed a bike park out the front.
And so, since the dust has finally settled on the last improvements (as it always does in this place..) we thought we’d start again! This time centred on Reception.
The bees and butterflies made the most of the warm, calm bank holiday weather, as did a huge number of visitors to The Castle enjoying the day and taking part in a whole range of walks, talks and activities on this year's May Day event.
We will soon be moving the bike park to a dedicated space outside the building next to our favourite bike workshop. Many of you have already been using the railings around here to park your bikes anyway, so you’ll be pleased to know that we’re getting over 100 spaces. Up to now, bikes had to be wheeled through the building to an outdoor section at the back. We’ve changed this because we have other plans for that space including a much-needed workshop and route setting area. I know that many cyclists are concerned about these changes. I use my bike to get here every day (that's me in th
A couple of years ago The Castle was approached by Dan, a climber at the centre and director of Dizzy Spell Films. He had an idea of making a film about the work that has (and is still) been done in developing the Castle into an ethical, sustainable business.
This 30 minute film follows Steve Taylor, CEO and the brains behind our holistic approach. He explains what we have achieved so far (up to 2013), including ethical procurement of goods, eco-friendly waste disposal, recycling, lighting, heating, and insulation.