St Davids has been announced as the first ‘Bee Friendly’ city in Wales.
This is the first citywide accreditation for the Caru Gwenyn/Bee Friendly initiative: a scheme that encourages schools, businesses and communities to help combat the decline of insect pollinators.
Mayor of St Davids, Mike Chant, says: “I am delighted with our Bee Friendly status and proud of how the community has come together to look after our world-class landscape and wildlife. Special thanks to Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm for coordinating the project.”
Many local residents, businesses, Open Gardens St Davids, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and the St Davids City Council have supported the project by providing food and habitat for pollinators and reducing pesticide use.
One of the main actions of the new Bee Friendly status is the St Davids Pollinator Trail. The innovative project, pioneered by Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm and supported by The Tourism Product Innovation Fund and Biodiversity Solutions, is an interactive trail linking tourism sites across the St Davids Peninsula. “Each ‘station’ will showcase a different pollinator alongside their habitat or forage” Sarah Sharpe, project coordinator, explains. “Aimed at families, the educational trail plans to link art, science and conservation, inspiring visitors to get involved at home”. The St Davids Pollinator Trail is due to launch in summer 2018.
The Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:
“It’s fantastic news that St Davids has been awarded Bee Friendly status and I’d like to congratulate everyone that’s been involved – a true community effort. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support the Pollinator Trail and I look forward to the launch in the summer. With wildflower habitat, artwork, interactive activities and interpretation, I’m sure it will be popular with visitors and locals and will further enhance Wales’ reputation as an internationally renowned, sustainable wildlife tourism destination.”
Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:
“St Davids becoming the first Bee Friendly city in Wales is a great achievement. Places that are good for pollinators are good for people too. Natural green spaces and contact with wildlife is essential for our wellbeing, and the buzz of bees creates a sense of place and is the sound of our summer. Wales is leading the way in raising awareness of the importance of these pollinators and our role in protecting them.”
If you think your school, business or community could become Bee Friendly, or for more information about the Action plan for Pollinators in Wales, please visit: www.biodiversitywales.org.uk/Wales-Action-Plan-for-Pollinators
For more information about The St Davids Pollinator Trail please contact Sarah Sharpe at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, St Davids: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors:
The Tourism Product Innovation Fund has helped support the project behind the Bee Friendly application. Resulting revenue from these projects aims to ensure an ongoing legacy for sustainable tourism in Wales.
Small but mighty
St Davids may be the smallest city in the UK, but it stands tall in terms of environmental awareness and conservation.
Situated within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the St Davids Peninsula is internationally recognised for its diverse landscape, rich wildlife habitat and rare species of flora and fauna.
Based in St Davids, Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm is a visitor attraction and research centre dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of ‘bugs’ and their role in sustainable food production. “Simple changes like planting a window box, or leaving an area of nettles or dandelions in your garden could make all the difference to pollinators in your area” explains Sarah Sharpe. “As Saint David once said: ‘Do the little things.’”
As part of the St Davids Bee Friendly commitment, twenty-five pollinator-friendly gardens around St Davids will be open to the public for the first Open Gardens event on the 30th June and 1st July 2018. See www.stdavidsopengardens.wales for more information.
Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm and St Davids City Open Gardens, with support from the St Davids City Council and the Pembrokeshire National Park Authority, have worked with business owners and residents to ensure there is provision for pollinators and reduction of pesticide use across St Davids both in domestic and commercial settings.
Five simple ways in which you could help pollinators:
- Plant a pot or a window box with flowering plants. This provides a food source for pollinators. Look out for the ‘Plants for Pollinators’ stamp when buying plants.
- Leave a ‘weedy patch’ in your garden. Many British butterflies will only lay their eggs on stinging nettle. The caterpillars then feed on the stinging nettle.
- Mow your lawn less often! Longer grass provides safe egg laying habitat for butterflies while dandelions and clovers provide crucial food for lots of pollinators.
- Reduce your use of pesticides and herbicides where possible.
- Create a home for pollinators with a small bee or ‘bug’ hotel.
Welsh Government Action Plan for Pollinators in Wales
- The Action Plan for Pollinators Task Force works to deliver the Action Plan. The Taskforce launched the Bee Friendly / Caru Gwenyn scheme in September 2016 and to-date; twenty-eight organisations have signed up to undertake positive actions for pollinators.
- It is believed ‘Bee Friendly’ is the first co-ordinated national scheme of its kind and has at its heart – making Wales a Pollinator- Friendly country.
- The Bee Friendly scheme is aimed at communities and community groups, schools, public bodies, community councils, businesses, universities and colleges, places of worship and many other organisations, all around Wales.
- Although the scheme is called Bee Friendly, we want people to take action to help all our pollinators, and not just bees.
There are Four Goals for Bee-friendly / Caru Gwenyn:
- Food – providing pollinator-friendly food sources in your area
- Five Star accommodation – providing places for insect pollinators to live
- Freedom from pesticides and herbicides – committing to avoid chemicals that harm pollinators
- Fun – involving all the community and telling people why you are helping pollinators.
Communities and organisations who wish to participate in Bee-friendly / Caru Gwenyn will be expected to develop a project to undertake at least one action under each of the four goals. They will be expected to fill out an application form which will be assessed (and feedback provided) by the local Bee-friendly / Caru Gwenyn Champion.
It is hoped that Bee-friendly / Caru Gwenyn will result in many more communities and organisations in Wales undertaking action to support pollinators.
To-date, forty-two organisations have signed up to undertake positive actions for pollinators and officials and stakeholders continue to promote and champion the initiative to organisations across Wales.
The project has been funded by Biodiversity Solutions: West Wales Ecology Services and the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation Fund which aims to encourage new innovative product ideas working in partnership which will have a greater impact and attract more visitors
Mae’r prosiect wedi cael ei ariannu drwy Biodiversity Solutions y Gronfa Arloesi Cynnyrch Twristiaeth Llywodraeth Cymru sy’n anelu at annog syniadau cynnyrch arloesol newydd trwy weithio mewn partneriaeth er mwyn cael mwy o effaith a denu mwy o ymwelwyr