Stafford awarded Bee Friendly Town status


Bee on lavender

Stafford is now officially a bee friendly town.

The national “Bee Friendly Trust” - has granted the accolade to the town to recognise its actions and activities to increase pollinators.

Local volunteers have been working with Stafford Borough Council to create a better environment for all pollinating insects such as bumblebees, honeybees, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, and butterflies.

The campaign was launched earlier this year at the John Wheeldon Primary Academy which has already gained a Gold award from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

And on International Bee Day - Monday 20 May - the volunteers and Council learned that it had been awarded ‘Bee Friendly’ status for 2024 from the ‘Trust’.

The borough-wide pollinator plans include encouraging more native flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen, supporting community groups to enhance their local open space for nature, reducing the use of pesticides and asking all residents to support the plan by sowing wildflower seeds and planting bee-friendly plants.

A number of community workshops have been organised with local experts talking to residents, businesses, and schools about the importance of bees, the creation of pollinator friendly areas in parks and green spaces, and the installation of bee hotels, nesting boxes, and other structures to provide shelter and breeding sites for the insects.

Among the actions the council has already undertaken to help pollinators are: improving 14 hectares of flower-rich meadows on Stone Meadows and Ferndown Local Nature Reserves (LNR), conservation grazing on Barlaston Common LNR - with an increase in heather and other plants, and creating a meadow area at Eccleshall Road cemetery in Stafford.

Last year the council successfully teamed up with the town’s Rising Brook Ground Force group to increase biodiversity on a large area of grass beside the town’s busy A449.

Councillor Tony Pearce, the Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Nature Recovery, said: “I am very pleased that Stafford Town has been awarded Bee Friendly status. This achievement has only been possible with the help and support of some fantastic organisations and community groups across the borough. In particular, Ron Rock has been the driving force behind this achievement.

“Bees and their fellow pollinators are vital to the healthy existence of us, the economy, and our natural world. Ultimately, without them, our food supply would collapse.”

He added: “We want to encourage the planting of bee-friendly flowers and plants and reduce pesticide use by gardeners and communities. That way we will improve bee health and biodiversity - and we can only do this by working together.

Stone and Eccleshall are planning to put in an application for ‘Bee Friendly’ town status next year - and the council will be working with Parish Councils to encourage action in rural areas.

Everyone is invited to the workshops being held in June on:

  • Tuesday 11, 10am - 12pm. Eccleshall Community Centre, Shaw’s Lane
  • Tuesday 18, 11am - 1pm. Victoria Park, Education Room, Stafford
  • Monday 24, 12 - 2pm. Frank Jordan Community Centre, St Michael’s Suite, Lichfield Street, Stone
  • Thursday 27, 12 - 2pm. St. Thomas and St. Andrews Church, Doxey, Stafford

Press Release No 6127

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