Woolton volunteers have helped to protect tens of thousands of threatened bumblebees by planting bee-friendly wildflower meadows at Woolton Wood and Camp Hill – and are aiming to go on to make Liverpool the UK’s first citywide “bumblebee haven”.
Thirty volunteers from Woolton Village Residents Association (WVRA) and Friends of Woolton Woods (FOWW) have spent the past two years creating specially designed meadows the size of a football pitch to provide habitat and food to fight the worrying decline in bee numbers nationwide.
Now they have celebrated their achievements so far by unveiling an interpretation board at the main entrance at Coronation Drive to tell visitors about the project.
The first two years of the scheme were funded by The Veolia Environmental Trust, who awarded a grant of £16,385 through the Landfill Communities Fund, which enabled the volunteers to buy wildflower seed, a mini tractor, trailer and other equipment.
The volunteers are now aiming to build on the progress to-date by turning the new meadows into a long-lasting annual home for the bees, and a base from which the creatures can spread out to colonise other green spaces across the city.
The ultimate aim is to create further wildflower meadows and make Liverpool the UK’s first citywide bumblebee haven, and to then encourage other towns and cities across the country to follow suit.
Peter Eustance from the WVRA said: “Bees are vital to society thanks to their role in pollinating plants, but they are under threat from a loss of habitat, and especially from a scarcity of quality food sources.
“The two residents associations thought it was time to do something practical to help reverse the decline in the UK’s bee population and in particular to help bumblebees thrive on Merseyside again. We joined forces with The Mersey Forest, the city council, Glendale Liverpool, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Landlife, Liverpool’s wildflower charity, and we’ve already made a real difference.
“Bumblebees are amazing creatures and can travel 4km or more to forage for food, so the creation of just a handful of sizeable wildflower ‘feeding stations’ across Liverpool will go a long way to securing their future in the city.”
The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, McNabb Laurie, adds, “It is great to hear about the progress and success of this interesting and important project. Everyone involved should be really proud of their achievements. I look forward to hearing about this project’s future development.”
Pictured are Peter Eustance (right) and the band of bumblebee volunteers.