Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the first National Park in Wales to be awarded Bee Friendly status as part of the Welsh Government scheme which promotes the vital role of pollinating insects in Wales’ ecosystems.
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority changed the management of several grassland sites it owns to create flower-rich habitats suitable for a wide range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, beetles and hoverflies.
The Authority’s Biodiversity Officer Sarah Mellor, said:
“Working towards the Bee Friendly Award has shown the importance of conservation work the National Park Authority undertakes to promote pollinators and their positive benefits on wildlife habitats. We also want to encourage people to enjoy our meadows at Carew Castle, Skrinkle Haven, Minwear Picnic Site, St David’s Airfield and Porthgain.
“Our headquarters in Pembroke Dock is not where you might expect to find an established half hectare wildflower meadow.
“About six years ago we let the grass grow long to create a hay meadow on and give it a single annual cut – it now contains a huge range of wildflowers including swathes of black knapweed, common catsear, birds-foot trefoil, yellow rattle, red clover and three southern marsh orchids turned up for the first time this year.”
The Welsh Government funded Bee Friendly/Caru Gwenyn scheme was awarded included assessment of the Authority’s development of the established sites, and the training and education of volunteers and the public around the benefits of establishing and maintaining these special wildflower sites.
The Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn, said:
“Bees play a crucial role in our ecosystem, so it’s vital we develop environments where bee populations can flourish. It’s great to see the work being done by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority being recognised and I hope Bee-friendly/Caru Gwenyn will result in many more areas of Wales joining the scheme and supporting our insect pollinators.”
For more information about the Welsh Government’s Bee Friendly/Caru Gwenyn scheme click on ‘Bee Friendly’ https://www.biodiversitywales.org.uk/Wales-Action-Plan-for-Pollinators page.