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Pollinator Patches

Throughout England and Wales, honey bees have been declining at the rate of around 25% per annum for the last 20 years. A number of factors are contributing to this decline but one of the most significant is the decline of available forage due to changing agricultural practices.

Honey bees need to collect nectar and pollen from wildflowers, shrubs and trees in order to survive and much of this came from hedgerows and hay fields. Traditionally Britain was a country of hedgerows but since 1945, half of these have been rooted out and of 15,333,000 hectares of land currently under agriculture, 70% is rough grazing and permanent grassland.

Our Pollinator Patches initiative is aimed at doing something to partially offset the losses of forage by encouraging communities to identify patches of unused or waste land and convert them into patches of nectar producing wildflowers which will benefit all pollinating insects. We provide guidance on how to prepare, sow and maintain the patches. Hopefully, we shall eventually get sufficient patches to link up into pollinator corridors.

Here are some examples of the pollinator patches we have helped to create, click on an image to enlarge:

And here are some of our volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering with us please drop us a line.

Lune Valley Beekeepers works with a wide range of organisations including:

Caton Scouts Grow Wild with the Community

As part of our ongoing Community pollinator work we are thrilled to announce Caton St Paul’s Scouts have been awarded £500, by Grow Wild, Grow for it 2017 to transform this space with native wild flowers and plants.

The entire team at Grow Wild loved the video clip Felix Weber and the Scouts produced. The Scout troop have been awarded their Community Service badge by the District Commissioner for their native wild flower planting which has enhanced many areas of the village.

We would like to thank the Scout leaders for all the work they do to support these projects.

Grow Wild and Champion Bowland funding – Community Pollinator Patches 2017

We were delighted to be funded for this project to create a pollinator area on this unloved area of land in the Crook O’ Lune. 70 Members of St Paul’s Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and the Community joined us to plant the site. The Scouts also planted hedge whips and made solitary bee boxes for the site. Thank you to Phil Keresh and The life for a Life team for taking on the management of this site. They do a sterling job. Thank you to our funders Grow Wild and Champion Bowland.

Life for a Life Memorial Meadows, Crook O’ Lune

We have been working in partnership with Life for a life Memorial Woodlands, Lancashire County Council, Sarah Robinson from the Bowland Haytime project, and Local Volunteers since 2015 to return this 4 acre site into a wild flower meadow ( the site was previously being cut 15 times a year with all the equipment coming from Oldham) Sarah Robinson initially surveyed the site and took soil samples. The cutting regime was changed to cutting just once a year with clippings removed and wide paths cut through the site for people to walk through. Over the years yellow rattle has been added to the site with some wild flower plugs grown by the Scouts and donated by the Bowland Haytime project. This year we received a donation of 8kg of Wild flower seed, a large amount of yellow rattle seed from Sarah Robinson and a generous donation of seed from Bell Sykes Coronation meadow. The site was cut, chain harrowed to expose 50% bare earth and the seed was added by volunteers. A local Volunteer surveyed for Bumblebees. This is the most ambitious wild flower project we have undertaken so far in our endeavour to create a Lune Valley Pollinator Corridor and improve habitat for pollinators and wildlife in this area. This project has only been possible through the hard work and cooperation of the Partners and volunteers. Thank you.

Verge Renovation on Wyresdale and Newlands Road, Lancaster

We are incredibly proud of the work we have undertaken in volunteering partnership with the Community Pack Teams and Supervisor Barry Green, Philip Reddell, South Pennines Grassland Specialist Lancashire Wildlife Trust, and Littledale Hall Theraputic Community, with support from William Griffiths, Head of Public Realms Lancaster City Council and Scotforth Parish Council to renovate these very special County Biological Heritage Site Road Verges which had fallen into serious decline. The site was surveyed by Phil Reddell before any work commenced. Working with Power Scythes, Strimmers and Landscape rakes we cut and raked off off long rank grass and this was removed from site and composted. Ash saplings were removed. 2018 will see the project’s 3rd year and we would like to share with you some of the results of 2017 after two years of management. No seed has been added to this site, apart from Yellow Rattle to control grass growth. All the wild flowers are returning naturally. This has been an extremely rewarding project to initiate, and be involved with and we thank everyone who has volunteered and donated their time. We would like to add a special thank you to the Community Payback teams and their Supervisors who have done a sterling job on this project over the last two years.

The Lune Valley Beekeepers Pollinator Corridor expands

Lune Valley Beekeepers Pollinator areas 2017. If you are walking, running or cycling round these sites this year we would be happy to receive photos of any wildlife you see, especially pollinators. Enjoy our sites but please treat them with care and respect, pick up after your dog and take your rubbish home.

Thank you to all our funders and volunteers who have made these projects possible. You can join us to support these projects for just £10 per year. Supporter details are on our website. (We will be updating this map for the 2018 season with new planting sites)