John Chambers Wildflower Seed has donated a custom mix of native wildflower seed to create an exciting new wildflower meadow at Middletown Recreation Ground in Skipton.
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) has worked with Skipton Town Council to create the new meadow. The project will see a small area of the green space transformed into a wildflower habitat that will benefit bees, butterflies, hoverflies, beetles, moths and other insects, as well as creating a beautiful area of flowers for local residents to enjoy.
It is part of Bee Together, a programme supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which aims to work with local communities to create habitats that could help reverse the decline of wild pollinators.
John Chambers Wildflower Seed has a 30-year history of supplying native British produced wildflower seed and mixes to landscape and garden lovers across the UK and is involved in many community projects such as this.
Catherine Mercer, Bee Together Officer at YDMT, said: “Schemes such as this are vital if we are to reverse the decline in pollinators. “According to the 2016 State of Nature report, 60% of bees and other pollinators are in decline. They face a wide range of threats, from toxic pesticides to climate change, however one of the most significant reasons for their decline is the loss of wildflower-rich habitats.
Declining pollinator populations are bad news for wildlife and people, with a third of the food we eat dependent on pollinating insects. If bees are in trouble, so are we.
This new meadow will not only provide an important habitat for pollinators but bring colour and interest to the area too.
It also marks the beginning of the development of a town-wide pollinator action plan being drawn up between ourselves, Buglife and the Council that will help manage green spaces for the benefit of pollinators. We hope to see Skipton leading the way in protecting and celebrating our native bees and other pollinators.”
Joel Henderson, Estates Manager at Skipton Town Council, added: “We’ve lost more than 95% of the UK’s wildflower meadows, making projects like this one really important. The joy of being immersed in a meadow, surrounded by the buzz of bees is a pleasure that is alien to many of our younger generation so we’re really looking forward to bringing this experience to the people of Skipton, while also tackling biodiversity loss.”
Recent research, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, found parks and urban green spaces are important habitats for pollinators with even small patches of allotments and weeds providing sustainable forage for bees and other insects.
‘Bee Together’ seeks to create a corridor of these important habitats between Leeds and Lancaster, contributing to a national network of ‘B-Lines’ mapped by Buglife.
B-Lines are a series of ‘insect pathways’ running through our countryside and towns. Buglife are working with a number of partners to restore and create wildflower-rich habitat stepping stones – ideal for pollinators like bees and butterflies and a host of other wildlife.
This B-line crosses the Yorkshire Dales, the Aire Valley and Lancashire and will help pollinators expand into new locations and move from area to area across a network of new habitats.