Minister for Environment unveils St Davids as Wales’ first ‘Bee Friendly’ city

St Davids has been announced as the first ‘Bee Friendly’ city in Wales. This week, the Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn visited St Davids to officially recognise St Davids achievement in becoming the first Caru Gwenyn/Bee Friendly city in Wales. “Pollinators are key to our ecosystems, it is vital that they are brought into the forefront of our day to day life and St Davids has done just that,” said the Minister. “This is a fantastic community achievement with local residents, local businesses and local authorities coming together to reach a joint goal. Caru Gwenyn/Bee Friendly is believed to be the first co-ordinated national scheme of its kind and has at its heart: making Wales a pollinator-friendly country.”

The launch of St Davids as Wales’ first ‘Bee Friendly’ city

To commemorate the achievement, the Minister cut the ribbon to officially open a bee house that will be situated in the centre of St Davids. The Minister was accompanied by Dr Simon Bilsborough, Welsh Government Land, Nature and Forestry Division, Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Minister for Environment and Welsh Language; Mike Chant, Mayor of St Davids; James Parkin, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority; Anthony Rogers, Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership, Steve Sutcliffe, Biodiversity Solutions, Julia Horton-Mansfield and John Mansfield, St Davids City Open Gardens and Sarah Sharpe and Dr Sarah Beynon from Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm. Mayor of St Davids, Mike Chant, said: “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.”

Bee Friendly accreditation for St Davids

St Davids claims the first citywide accreditation for the Bee Friendly initiative: a scheme that encourages schools, businesses and communities to help combat the decline of insect pollinators by providing them with food and habitat and reducing pesticide use. Acres of new wildflower meadows have been sown, pollinator friendly plants bloom outside businesses and gardens throughout the City and bilingual education boards educate visitors about the variety and importance of British pollinators. St Davids has become a sanctuary for pollinators and a haven for people wanting to learn more about them.

The St Davids Pollinator Trail

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 Tourism Product Innovation Fund and Biodiversity Solutions, includes two interactive trails linking 18 tourism sites across the St Davids Peninsula. “Each site will showcase a different pollinator alongside their habitat” Sarah Sharpe, project coordinator, explains. “Aimed at families, the educational trail is completely free to do and links simple conservation with art, science and a sense of adventure!” The St Davids Pollinator Trail launched in August 2018.

If you think your school, business or community could become Caru Gwenyn/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: sarah.sharpe@thebugfarm.co.uk

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 were opened to the public for the first St Davids City Open Gardens event on the 30th June and 1st July 2018. Television presenter Iolo Williams, patron of the St Davids Open Gardens, said: “…help[ing] make St Davids a much more pleasant place for wildlife and people”

Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm and St Davids City Open Gardens, with support from the St Davids City Council and the Pembrokeshire Coast 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reduce your use of pesticides and herbicides where possible.
  5. Create a home for pollinators with a small bee or ‘bug’ hotel.

For the press release on the launch of the St Davids Pollinator Trail with Lord Elis-Thomas, as well as high resolution images, please contact Sarah Sharpe – sarah.sharpe@thebugfarm.co.uk

Featured image photograph credits

From left to right: Mike Chant, Mayor of St Davids; Dr Simon Bilsborough, Welsh Government Land, Nature and Forestry Division; Dr Sarah Beynon, Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm; Hannah Blythyn AM, Minister for Environment; Anthony Rogers, Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership; John Mansfield and Julia Horton-Mansfield, St Davids City Open Gardens; Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Minister for Environment and Welsh Language; Steve Sutcliffe, Biodiversity Solutions; James Parkin, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority; Sarah Sharpe, Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm.