On May 17th it is Endangered Species Day, which is an opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions they can take to help protect them.

At Environment Trust, we believe there are many actions people can take to protect species at risk, such as bees. 

A recent study by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, has highlighted that a third of British wild bees are in decline. The scientist’s behind the study say that if current trends continue, some species will be lost from Britain altogether.

Plants to attract beesHabitat loss is the main reason for the decline, along with the use of insecticides and climate change. There are things that we can all do to help stop this decline, such as growing patches of wildflowers and weeds to encourage bees into our gardens, and I’d encourage everyone to do this if they can.

As a charity, we are doing our bit this year to protect our bees. We held our second Plant Sale and combined it with an Open Day at the Grade II listed Kilmorey Mausoleum in St Margaret’s on 28th April 2019. We sold a wide range of plants including annuals, biennials, perennial, herbs which all encourage wildlife. Local beekeepers also attended the event with their hives to talk about beekeeping and plants that are great for attracting bees.

Plant sale for wildlifeIn June, we are partnering with Petersham Nurseries in Richmond to host a fun, educational and hands on father and child activity on Father’s Day on 16th June 2019, to create a mini bee-nursery. There are three 45-minute pre-bookable workshops from 11am being held at Petersham Nurseries, where fathers and their children can enjoy spending time together creating a miniature bee-nursery for solitary bees to encourage bees into their gardens. 

Once in the garden, the solitary bee will lay eggs in the nursery, before leaving her offspring to hatch alone. She provides each of them with a food ball of pollen and nectar and separates each egg within its own compartment of the home. When ready they break their way out and as many as 30 little bees might be born from one season in the bee nursery.

Please do consider planting some bee friendly plants in your garden this spring to attract the bees and butterflies. If everyone in our neighbourhood did this, we could really start to make a huge difference to our local bee population, as well as other insects and wildlife.

To read about these events, as well as other projects and events we are working on click here.