Bees’ Needs Award recognises our pollinator work

We’re buzzing to have been received a Bees’ Needs Champions Award from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs for our work supporting pollinators.

We began championing bumblebees in 2019 when we spent a year kickstarting measures to help them as part of our biodiversity programme. For each month while they were active, we noted which existing plants in our grounds the bees visited to help make sure they have a plentiful food supply. To plug gaps, we added a range of bee-friendly plants.

Since then we have continued to take initiatives to support bees in our grounds, including adding more wildflower patches,  cutting the use of pesticide, introducing ‘no mow May zones’, and increasing areas that are not mown from 400m2 to 920m2. In areas that are mown, we have begun to leave the grass longer, and mow less frequently.

As a result, we have for instance seen more clover flowering in our lawns – with bumblebees often observed upon it. We plan to gradually increase areas that are not mown, and continue with annual no mow zones and longer length grass cutting.

During the focus year and beyond, we have helped raise awareness of pollinators. We gained coverage in local publications and websites, and organised a free biodiversity talk for the local community. We also provided ‘big 7’ bumblebee species sheets to the on-site nursery to help children spot the bees.

We also have four beehives in our grounds, which we introduced in 2016. Hive records show that the honey bees are flourishing. Since the honey bees’ introduction, we have run regular activities for our park community, visiting the hives, and doing some hands-on honey extraction. We also invited a group of school children in June this year to meet the honey bees.

Find out more about Bees’ Needs Awards at: