Super-highway in the heart of London helps pollinators thrive

Celebrating Bees Needs Week

A shopping haven in London’s west end has been transformed into an insect ‘super-highway’.

Businesses and communities in the trendy Carnaby street have displayed over 700 hanging baskets, window boxes and planters to help pollinators at the start of Bees’ Needs Week.

The bedecked landmark, now full of thousands of nectar-rich flowers has been championed by Pollinators Minister Lord Gardiner  to mark the start of Bees’ Needs Week.

Bees’ Needs Week – an annual event to promote the actions people can take to protect pollinating insects – will see a hive of activity across the country including a Pollination Day held by Kew Gardens and a series of Bees and Butterflies walks hosted by the Wildlife Trusts.

Boosting biodiversity

Minister for Pollinators and Biosecurity, Lord Gardiner, said:

“Each of us can do our bit to help them flourish. Bees’ Needs Week is all about celebrating those across the nation who work throughout the year to help our pollinators, and encouraging more people of all ages to join in by taking simple actions such as planting bee-friendly flowers in a window box, letting your garden grow wild or not disturbing insect nests.

“Bees and other pollinators are not just a well-loved part of our cities, towns, villages and countryside—they are vital workers, driving our economy and boosting biodiversity.” Lord Gardiner

“Our Bees’ Needs champions from Shaftesbury have done an excellent job turning Carnaby Street in to a paradise for pollinators. The project is a fine example of businesses working together and shows how landowners across the country can do their bit to help our bees.”

More than 700 hanging baskets and window boxes are on display in the area

Penny Thomas, Shaftesbury’s Company Secretary and lead on its biodiversity projects, added;

“Pollinators, such as bees, are vital to the ecosystem and green features in the urban landscape – from sedum pods on roofs to window boxes with pollinator-friendly plants – encourage biodiversity and give residents, visitors and workers a chance to enjoy nature and improve health and well-being.”

“Bees, butterflies and other insects play a crucial role in our environment and our economy, with 1,500 species of insects pollinating crops in the UK, contributing an estimated £600m to our economy.

“But many struggle to find the habitats and food they need. By thinking about Bees’ Needs and taking simple actions to meet them, people across the UK can help give bees and pollinators the food and shelter they need to survive.”

Wildlife Trusts’ Director for England Steve Trotter said:

“The Wildlife Trusts believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife in their daily lives and bees are a fantastic way to make a start!

“By understanding more about what bees need to survive we can help our precious bees to thrive.”

Tim Lovett, Director of Communications at the British Beekeepers Association, said:

“People need to do three things to help honeybees and pollinators – Plant! Plant! Plant! They need simple flowers that will provide a good source of nectar and pollen throughout the summer.”

How can you help pollinators?

– Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees
– Let your garden grow wild
– Cut grass less often
– Don’t disturb insect nests and hibernation spots

Bees’ Needs Week runs from 17-23 July. Use the hashtag #BeesNeeds on twitter to join in the conversation

Farmland Magazine

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