Project support set to help bees

MNJP-17-09-12 SSS BEE HEATHER.jpg

MNJP-17-09-12 SSS BEE HEATHER.jpg

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THE TOWN’S parks and gardens will be a more welcoming habitat for bees after Eastbourne Borough Council agreed to support the Friends of the Earth’s campaign.

The motion was put forward by Cllr Steve Wallis at the full council meeting at Eastbourne Town Hall last week.

The motion called on the council to support the Friends of the Earth Bee Cause initiative, to ensure that where suitable, all planting undertaken within the parks and gardens owned by the council will support bees and other pollinating insects.

Andrew Durling from Friends of the Earth attended the meeting and spoke to councillors about the importance of bees.

He said, “We all know that we depend upon nature and its abundance of resources for our own survival and flourishing but the health of that natural world is increasingly under threat. Bees are iconic in demonstrating the degree to which we are dependant upon nature. Quite simply without bees we would struggle to survive, let alone flourish.”

Mr Durling said all of Britain’s 267 species of bees are under threat, declining dramatically in numbers, with some species now extinct.

Cllr Wallis told his fellow councillors he felt sure that everybody in the room had eaten something that had been produced due to the activity of bees.

Cllr Wallis said, “I find it astonishing that governments are doing little to protect them. The many challenges facing pollinating insects include, intense farming, climate change, loss of habitat, pesticides and disease. This month alone British government refused to ban a pesticide that is used on plants but poison bees.”

Cllr Wallis said it was complacent of the government, especially when France, Italy and America have banned the pesticide.

He added, “It is down to people, councils and organisations at local level to try and turn things around and make improvements.”

Eastbourne Borough Council has already started to help bee habitats in the parks and gardens around the town but on Wednesday night, the councillors unanimously agreed the motion.

Making Eastbourne a bee friendly town will involve providing new wildflower and insect friendly plants, bee beds, log piles and water.

The council will also try to create bee friendly reserves, allow the grass to grow in selected areas and replace dead or dying plants with nectar rich perennials.