To support bumblebees, our gardeners noted which existing plants in our grounds they visited – to help make sure that they had a plentiful food supply while out and about. To plug gaps during the year, we added a range of bee-friendly plants, including a new herb garden, wild garlic, wildflower patches, and perovskia, verbena bonariensis and sedum. We met criteria set by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Nurture Landscapes. We also have four beehives in our grounds, and offer our community the chance to ‘meet’ the bees and take part in a honey extraction workshop.
The focus year was just the starting point for supporting bumblebees, and we have continued making improvements since. We’ve introduced ‘no mow May zones’ and, in areas that are mown, we have begun to leave the grass longer, which, along with the reduced the use of pesticide, has encouraged the growth of pollinator-friendly flowers.