Queen jokes about plot of tempting strawberries on visit to green oasis in city

The Queen has visited a community open space that has become a haven for children, beekeepers and allotment holders – and joked about a plot of tempting strawberries.

Glasgow gardeners welcomed the Queen and the Princess Royal to the green oasis among the busy residential streets of the city run by the Children’s Wood charity.

The unloved patch of ground has been transformed into a tree-covered meadow space where green-fingered residents grow produce, local schools hold outdoor lessons and residents without gardens can relax.

Keen gardener Quinton Cutts commented on the community spirit during lockdown. He said “nobody’s stolen my beans” as he looked at his young plants.

The Queen quipped “perhaps if you had some beans”, but then looking down at some produce beginning to ripen she added: “That’s tempting too, the strawberries.”

The Queen was given a jar of honey
The Queen was given a jar of honey (Andrew Milligan/PA)

During their tour the royal party met beekeepers looking after hives built into a “Beedookit” – a bee version of a dovecote where the insects enter hives high off the ground and so are not disturbed by the public.

Beekeeper Kathleen Friend told the Queen: “You can sunbathe outside it and they don’t seem to mind.”

The Queen met a group of children around a fire pit and watched as the youngsters from the nearby East Park School, which teaches youngsters with complex needs, toasted marshmallows.

Jay Mcinally, 17, who introduced his group to the Queen, asked “so what brings you here your majesty?” and the Queen replied “to see all of you”.

When she was offered a marshmallow the Queen politely declined saying, “No, that’s very kind of you.”

The Queen views marshmallows being toasted
The Queen views marshmallows being toasted (Andrew Milligan/PA)

As she left the Queen was presented with a jar of honey, made on the site, by Kathleen Friend and local boy Jacob Wishart, aged eight.

Ms Friend said afterwards: “I said to the Queen, she could have the honey on her toast and she replied she already had her breakfast.”

Emily Cutts, director of the Children’s Wood charity, hosted the Queen’s visit, and said afterwards: “The Queen liked the idea of our wild space, it’s not a manicured space it’s a bit rough, and she was also taking about bees, they had a swarm at Windsor.

“So many people have put so much effort over so many years and we’re just a wee patch, so for her to come here is incredible.

Later the Queen gave the British space industry lift off as she and Anne marvelled at nanosatellite technology during a visit to two neighbouring firms, AAC Clyde Space and Spire, at Skypark, in Glasgow.

Shown a miniature satellite no bigger than a whisky bottle being built to be blasted into orbit, she remarked: “That goes into space?

The Queen tours the community project in Glasgow
The Queen tours the community project in Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“It is very small.”

She added: “It is very interesting, marvellous.”

The head of state looked delighted as staff from AAC Clyde Space revealed how their tiny devices were being blasted skyward to altitudes of around 600km to help predict the weather, monitor maritime traffic and combat natural disasters.

Joel Spark, of Spire, talked the Queen through screens showing how satellites are monitoring the weather around the world.

Looking at the map, the Queen said: “Fascinating pictures, aren’t they?”

And told that the satellites can help forecast global weather she replied: “That’s what one wants to know.

“It is really marvellous, it is very interesting.”