FAMILIES gathered at a revamped sewage works to enjoy a tea party with a difference.

The Barrhead Water Works project transformed a derelict industrial site into a social, growing and wildlife hub.

As part of the initiative, John Shelton, together with a team of artists and residents, investigated the history of the site and organised creative workshops involving planting, kiln firing and tea brewing.

John, who is the Green Network project officer with East Renfrewshire Council, said: “Artists Alex Wilde and Hannah Brackston led the whole thing. We started off having a talk about tea for plants and tea for people and then went off on a foraging expedition and came back and talked about what we found.

“Alex and Hannah then encouraged the groups to sketch the various plants and the idea is for the pictures to be used as an art project later in the year.

“Tea was made out of things we brought along, such as mint and thyme, and also from the things which were picked and, I have to say, it was surprisingly nice. We spoke about the medicinal properties tea can have and how it can be used as a feed for plants by creating nitrogen which is essential for growth.

“This explorative project will culminate in a big tea ceremony in late summer, bringing people together to share the research and a taste from the site. It is all about encouraging people to use the space because when they use it, they care about it.”

To find out more about activities taking place at the Water Works, visit http://barrheadwaterworks.co.uk/events/