A BUSY community group is buzzing after Kenilworth was named a ‘Bee Friendly Town’.
The Bee Friendly Trust awards the title to groups and communities that have implemented a wide range of initiatives to protect and promote pollinators.
‘Bee Friendly Kenilworth’ was formed by residents Fern Arnold, Jo Harper and councillors Alix Dearing and James Kennedy in an attempt to address the significant decline in pollinator numbers, due to loss of habitats for foraging, nesting and breeding and use of pesticides.
Over the past two years the group has been working with local volunteers, schools and the community on a number of schemes to promote the growth of wildflowers in green spaces, parks and also private gardens.
Jo Harper from Bee Friendly Kenilworth said: “One of our main aims has been to encourage residents to leave wild areas in their own gardens and to reduce their use of toxic pesticides.
“While many people may appreciate the appearance of a closely-mown ‘Wimbledon’ lawn, they may not realise that this removes all sources of food for pollinators. It is like going to a supermarket with empty shelves.
Bumblebees need to feed at least every 40 minutes, which is why having more, connected gardens, planters, window boxes full of pollen-nectar-rich flowers is essential.”
The project has been supported by Warwick District Council’s Green Spaces Team which has been trialling areas of reduced mowing in the Park Hill area of Kenilworth. This allows wildflowers to grow that are in the natural seedbank, with other appropriate seeds being added over time.
WDC environment spokesperson Coun Alan Rhead said: “We’ve been delighted to work alongside Bee Friendly Kenilworth on a number of sites in the town, where we have been taking measures to encourage pollinators, through careful planting and also a reduction in mowing during the spring and summer.
“This has also been replicated across the district with areas of our parks and green spaces, which would have once just been grass now full of beautiful and nectar rich flowers.
“This is just one of many actions where the district council is encouraging our residents to join in helping our Climate Change Action plan.
“I am thrilled that this Kenilworth group is sharing their experience with other areas, helping to launch a district wide campaign which can help to improve the conditions for the bee population.”