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Help Newport to become a bee friendly city

You could give nature a helping hand by supporting a scheme to help the bee population flourish in Newport.

Newport City Council has joined with partners such as Friends of the Earth Newport, Charter Housing, Newport City Homes, Fourteen Locks Canal Centre, Gwent Wildlife Trust, The Woodlanders community group and Incredible Edibles Maindee plus local residents, to form the Bee Friendly Newport group.

As a group they are working on making pollinator friendly changes across Newport.

Over the coming months the council will be changing some habitat management by allowing the grass to grow longer in some areas of the city, such as on the edge of playing fields, on road verges and in our parks or along the canal.

Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown butterflies all feed on the flowers of grasses. And of course there are a range of bees and hoverflies which will take nectar from the other plants which will flower when allowed to.

The wildflower meadows in Allt yr Yn Local Nature Reserve and other sites continue to be a haven for many pollinators, and pollinator friendly borders can be found in Belle Vue Park and across many school sites keen to help the bee population.

The Woodlanders’ community group take care of Woodland Park and have planted an orchard and a native wildflower meadow producing great food resources for pollinators, while Maindee Unlimited are gearing up to a have a growing theme for their annual festival.

The Bee Friendly scheme is an initiative from Welsh Government encouraging as many communities or organisations to join up by following four main themes.

This includes providing food for pollinators, accommodation for pollinators to live, avoid using pesticides and herbicides which harm pollinators and of course share, have fun, involve the community and tell people what you are doing and why.

Bee Friendly Newport is also planning a week of events in June to highlight the importance of pollinators for food production, and will be contacting local cafes to take part.

Individuals can also do their bit by setting aside a bit of garden, allowing long grass and common weeds to grow, leaving the mowing until the autumn.

If you would like more information about the scheme or how to get involved contact the council’s Biodiversity and Education Officer for more details.