Pollinating the Peak is a fun, innovative project with education and community engagement at its core. One of its aims is to increase our understanding of Bilberry bumblebee populations as this is an under-recorded bumblebee and is listed as a Peak District National Park priority species.
The project is based in Derbyshire and has five strands that promote better understanding of the environment and countryside:
Buzzing gardens will:
- Launch a ‘Garden with the Best Buzz’ gardening competition.
- Develop a toolkit to encourage people with bee-friendly gardens to take part in the Open Gardens scheme.
- Upgrade our Bee kind gardening tool that allows people to score their garden for its bee-friendliness. (Including a new children’s version.)
- Deliver seed collection workshops and propagation training events, encouraging low cost bee-friendly gardening.
Buzzing communities will:
- Create bee-friendly habitat on local authority and Ministry of Justice land.
- Deliver a programme of bumblebee talks and guided walks, many led by volunteers.
Buzzing schools will:
- Work with secondary school teachers, students and University academics, to develop and deliver an innovative pollinator education programme that will encourage more young people to study science at University. This includes a mobile Polli:lab which will travel around schools and provide students with the opportunity to take part in hands on science experiments on the topic of bumblebees and pollination.
- Work with Universities to inspire the next generation of researchers through involvement in real science experiments within University labs.
- Launch a new interactive website to host the education resources.
Buzzing tourism will:
- Deliver events at walking festivals, well dressings and food festivals.
- Create new outreach materials, including a bee-pollinated foods leaflet.
- Launch a new Peak District Bee Hunt activity where people will follow clues to find bumblebee ‘treasure’ and facts. (Available via mobile phone app and a paper leaflet to engage as wide an audience as possible.)
- Culminate in a Bee Festival, linking with existing Peak District festivals.
Skills for bees will:
- Recruit, train and support volunteers in collecting data about bees and their habitats.
- Deliver training in survey techniques; bumblebee ID; and a Train the Trainer programme to help volunteers train others.
- Support volunteer surveyors to monitor bee population densities in the Peak District.
“Bumblebees are one of the most endearing insect visitors to any garden. Their furry, colourful bodies and clumsy flight always raise a smile, but they also do an essential job. Without their pollination services many flowers would produce no seeds, and fruit and vegetable yields would suffer.”