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A Buzz In The Lune Valley

News > A Buzz In The Lune Valley

05/06/2017

Date of issue 5 June 2017

The Lune Valley has been a hive of activity, as a team of hard working volunteers and local wildflower experts joined forces with the Lune Valley Community Beekeepers to help improve the area for bees and other wildlife.

Since 2014, seven new pollinator patches have been created around Caton and the Crook O’ Lune, providing an important nectar network for insects.

It’s part of the 'Wildflowers for the Meadows' project which is delivered by local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) working in partnership with the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), thanks to funding from Lancashire Environmental Fund, Champion Bowland and Grow Wild.

The most recent addition to the Lune Valley network is a community verge alongside a well-used footpath at the Crook O’ Lune. Thanks to the efforts of a team of almost 70 volunteers from the local community, the verge now boasts an impressive range of wildflower species.

Erica Sarney of the Lune Valley Community Beekeepers said: “It was a pleasure to welcome so many enthusiastic local people to the event. Together we transformed a previously unloved and uninspiring grass verge into an area that will hopefully be full of colourful nectar-rich flowers in future years. We spent an enjoyable afternoon spreading seed and planting wildflower plug plants, including cowslips and primroses which should provide important food for pollinators next spring.”

Caton is also home to a new bee hotel which was built near the Catholic Church by Caton St Paul’s Scout group with help from Erica and support from Wildflowers for the Meadows. Just two weeks after construction, a red masonry bee was observed inspecting the ‘facilities’, with several more of the holes already in use.

To enable more people to learn how to grow wildflowers, a series of four short films have been produced. In the films, wildflower expert Sarah Robinson gives practical instructions on how to collect, dry and store wildflower seed, as well as how to propagate new plants from seed and plant out the plugs to create a wildflower meadow or garden.

Created by Chorley-based film maker Jason Smalley, the films are freely available to watch online, providing a permanent public resource and helping to create a sustainable future for wildflowers. They’ve been watched almost 200 times since they were published in March.

Sarah Robinson, Bowland Hay Time Officer at Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT), said: “After running a number of popular training courses on seed collection, storage, propagation and planting, we decided to create the videos and share them online to enable more people to learn how to create and manage their own wildflower patches. The Lune Valley Community Beekeepers are a great example of a group making full use of the resources and support available to them. Erica is even running her own training courses now, helping to pass on her new found knowledge and skills to even more people.”

The videos can be viewed online at www.youtube.com/user/theYDMT

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