Bee Creative in the Garden

Monday 27th March 2017

Bee. Credit: Darin Smith

Royal Horticultural Society and The Wildlife Trusts launch campaign to help wild bees

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts have joined forces to urge gardeners to do more to help protect bumblebees and solitary bees, heroes of the pollinator world.

The Bee Creative in the Garden! call comes as bees are under increasing pressure largely due to loss of habitat. In the countryside, 97% of lowland meadow has already been lost and the dramatic decrease in suitable habitats isn’t just confined to rural areas.

The network of 15 million gardens that once formed ‘green corridors’ for wildlife are disappearing at an alarming rate. In London alone, vegetated garden land the size of 2.5 Hyde Parks is lost each year*. The number of front gardens that have been paved over has tripled in a decade and over five million have no plants growing at all.

The charities will be arming gardeners with the advice, insights and inspiration they need to create habitats that support wild bees as they emerge from their nests in early spring to forage for food.

Gardeners will be able to download a wild bee-friendly gardening guide. Wildlife events and a ‘Bee Creative’ photo competition will also be taking place from 1 April to 1 November 2017 as bees buzz during the gardener’s growing season and then look for nesting sites in autumn.

Bee Creative in the Garden! is this year’s Wild About Gardens campaign – a joint initiative to encourage gardeners to create wildlife havens for the many, once-common, native species.

Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at the RHS said: “A healthy garden is buzzing with bees and other pollinators. By providing nesting sites and growing nectar and pollen rich flowers gardeners can and do support a wide variety of bumblebee and solitary bees.”

Ellie Brodie, Senior Policy Manager, The Wildlife Trusts, says: “Anyone can take action to help wild bees whether you have a wall for vertical planting, window box, or back garden. It’s easy to plant a bee haven and fun choosing between bee-friendly beauties such as borage, foxglove and honeysuckle.”

The wild bee-friendly gardening guide, ‘Get your garden buzzing for bees’, is free to download and contains lots of facts about the different species of wild bee, their lifecycles and how they nest, as well as practical steps gardeners can take to help them. It is available to download at wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk from 27 March.

Enter our Bee Creative photo competition! Gardeners, gardening groups and schools are encouraged to share how they’ve welcomed wild bees into their gardens by posting a picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – using the hashtag #wildaboutgardens and the category being entered – of their bee-friendly area, whether that be a tailor-made bee home, a flower-packed border or a wall that bees have made their own.

A list of the wildlife gardening events taking place can be found at wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk from the 27 March – please note that more will be added as the season progresses.

Our Bee Creative in the Garden! campaign will culminate in Wild About Gardens Week which will run from 23 - 29 October. This will be a fun-filled week of special activities focused on how to help bees survive the winter ahead.

 

*Monitored period: 1998/99 to 2006/08 London: Garden City/London Wildlife Trust

Wild About Gardens
The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS set up Wild About Gardens www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk in 2009 and Wild About Gardens Week in 2013. It is an annual celebration of wildlife gardening and provides a focus to encourage people to use their gardens and take action to help support wildlife. Over the past 50 years we've seen declines in two thirds of the UK’s plant and animal species, for a range of reasons, including loss of habitat. Many of our common garden species - hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings and common frogs, for example – are increasingly endangered. Gardens have enormous potential to act as mini-nature reserves. There are 15 million gardens in the UK, estimated to cover about 270,000 hectares – more than the area of all the National Nature Reserves in the UK.

The Wildlife Trusts wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We care for around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves welcome millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working with local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

 

Downloads

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wild_bee_action_pack_.pdf4.34 MB

Tagged with: Wildlife gardening