A Pollinator Festival will take place at Queenswood Country Park & Arboretum on Saturday 6th July as part of the site’s ‘Buzz About Queenswood’ project thanks to players of the National Lottery and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The day will include informative talks for adults including Bumblebee Identification and Save the Bees, a guided walk for families where we will be spotting bees and butterflies and, in the afternoon, natural crafts for children – with a pollinator theme, of course!
Engagement Manager Katrina Preston commented: “we’re hoping that this mix of events will offer opportunities for children and adults alike to learn more about our native pollinators – in a really fun way! The woodland at Queenswood is fantastic for pollinators as we have a mix of open areas and woodland flowers which is great habitat.”
All the events are free but advance booking is recommended as spaces are limited for some activities.
The Buzz About Queenswood project began last year and has included practical habitat improvement work such as creating scallops along some of the paths around the Arboretum. These are grassy areas which are sheltered from the wind but catch the sun, creating a flowery haven for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects. As part of the project, national bee authority Steven Falk (author of Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland, and co-author of British Hoverflies) visited the project and was really excited by the work the creation of great habitat for invertebrates: “The open spaces within woodland are the most valuable spaces for wildlife. Bees and butterflies just don’t fly through closed canopies; structurally, this looks like some of the best woodland I know.”
At the heart of the project is the aim to protect and preserve our natural heritage of native pollinators. Although most people are familiar with honey bees, not everyone is as aware of the range of wild native pollinators in the UK, their importance to our environment, and what can be done to support their conservation. The project hopes to increase public awareness through education, training, interactive trails, activities and events.
Vanessa Harbar, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands said “This is an exciting project which, thanks to National Lottery players, will actively engage people in our natural heritage. People of all ages will have great fun while learning about natural pollinators, their role in our environment and how we can ensure their existence for future generations. We are delighted to be able to help people connect with the natural world.”