Thursday, 29 March 2012

Town Council's Buzzing

Hedge End Votes to Help Bees  
Town Council Seeks Volunteers to Help Make Parks Bee Friendly

At the same time as Friends of the Earth were kicking off their "Bee Cause" campaign for 2012, Hedge End Town Council were voting through  a number of practical measures to help bees in our local parks and green spaces.  Councillors voted unanimously at the March meeting of full council to support an initiative I proposed which will see:
  • Wildflower gardens planted in local parks
  • Space for bee hives at the Town Council allotments
  • Bee nest boxes in Council green spaces
  • Bee-friendly planting in the Council's flower beds.
Plans to extend the car park at Hedge End station will mean the loss of a designated wildflower meadow, while bees and other pollinating insects are already suffering due to habitat loss, disease, parasites and pesticide use.

The Town Council is in a position to make up the habitat lost to the car park extension by working with volunteers and local organisations to make our other green spaces bee-friendly.  It's now up to local people to come forward and make those nest boxes, plant the wildflowers and run the bee hives.  This could become a genuine community project with the Council providing the space for local environmentalists to work in.

Greg Hewitt of Southampton and Eastleigh Friends of the Earth and Eastleigh Transition Network commented: "This is perfect.  It's just the sort of thing we want local councils to be doing."

The Friends of the Earth Bee Cause campaign launches formally on 11th April and will call for a national bee action plan alongside practical activities to help bees in local communities.

More information is available on the FoE campaign hub and Southampton and Eastleigh FoE web site.

Hedge End people who would like to volunteer for one of the bee projects, can get in touch at keith.day@hedgeend-tc.gov.uk.

4 comments:

  1. Greg Hewitt says 'It's the sort of thing we want local councils to be doing' - well what is the council doing? There is the call for local people to come forward to make the nest boxes, plant the wild flowers and run the bee hives. Is the Council funding the project, paying for materials etc? How many Councillors are involved in this? As I see there are 21 serviing councillors, how many will be contributing to this project in their spare time? Plese print their names here.

    It seems to me the Council is actually doing nothing to protect bees as it is ploughing up wild flower meadows for station car parks and is now making a pathetic attempt to try and look good. Please don't insult residents intelligence Hedge End Council - we are not taken in. Leave the wild flower meadow alone!


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  2. Hi Jane. I happen to agree that it would be good if the Town Council could do more, but we have to start somewhere. A swarm starts with a single bee after all.

    I know Cllr Allingham has already volunteered with respect to planting a wildflower garden in the rec. I'd like to see one in Turnpike Way and will happily volunteer my services there if the Council agrees to make the land available.

    Most of the Hedge End councillors voted against the car park extension, but it was an Eastleigh cabinet decision and the decision was taken out of their hands.

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  3. Congratulations on getting this through Keith.
    Sorry I didn't manage to get to that particular meeting.

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  4. Peter Stewart UKIP3 April 2012 at 20:08

    The best thing the Council can do to help our bees is to discourage the use of insecticides.

    INSECTICIDES ARE KILLING OUR BEES! No bees, no pollination. No pollination, no fruits!

    The parasites and other "diseases" commonly blamed for killing our bees are merely symptoms of the bees' weakness caused by insecticides.

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