Park charity ‘buzzing’ after scooping national award for bee conservation

Park charity ‘buzzing’ after scooping national award for bee conservation

by Danielle Thompson (November 2020)

A park charity based in Sefton has won an award from the government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs for the work it has done to support bee colonies in the area. 

It is set to receive the Bees' Needs Award at on online ceremony taking place this Wednesday (November 18). 

Formed in 2016, Rimrose Valley Friends was created to further the interests of the popular urban park and in 2019 crowd-funded a project to deliver a wildflower meadow, roughly one hectare in size, in the centre of an overgrown running track.  The meadow bloomed that summer, creating a vital habitat for bees and other pollinators and work has continued to make this an annual attraction.

A subsequent community-led project led to the restoration of the much-loved running track, with the meadow becoming its centrepiece, creating a unique facility for athletes of all ages and abilities from across the borough. 

Explaining the award, Louise Willows from Defra’s Nature Strategy team said:  The Bees’ Needs Champions Awards are run by Defra in partnership with the Green Flag Awards, the Bee Farmers’ Association, Championing the Farmed Environment and the Nature Friendly Farming Network.  The awards recognise and celebrate examples of exemplary initiatives undertaken by local authorities, community groups, farmers and businesses to support pollinators.” 

Commenting on behalf of Rimrose Valley Friends, Linda Gaskell, who managed the wildflower meadow project, said: “This award is fantastic news, both for us and for everyone who made this project happen.  The surrounding community pledged a huge sum of money in a short space of time.  Corporate sponsors the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and idverde UK recognised the passion for the project and donated the rest.  The meadow has become a real attraction for people and pollinators alike.  We look forward to expanding this project in the coming years and to further improving the incredible biodiversity Rimrose Valley has to offer.” 

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