Monday (20 April), school children from Cardiff put their green fingers to work at St David’s, planting seedlings to create 6 large pollinator habitats for bees, butterflies and other local wildlife around the ‘Hayes’.
The children, from schools including Whitchurch, Grangetown and Radnor Primary, also had the opportunity to learn about the types of plants that encourage bee pollination. This marks the beginning of a collaborative programme by Pollen8 Cymru, Cardiff University and St David’s, which will see the creation of other bee-friendly areas across the city.
Each school will be able to re-visit their ‘adopted’ planters throughout the summer to see their plants – (donated by Wyevale Garden Centres, sponsored by Clarks It!, RSPB Cymru and Wales Biodiversity Partnership) – in full bloom, and observe which kind of wildlife are enjoying them.
Steven Madeley, St David’s centre director said: “It’s fantastic that schools from across the city are involved in the project, and to see local children engaged in nature. We’re pleased to be able to play our part in attracting wildlife to the city centre area, and are looking forward to seeing the planters grow and develop over the summer months.”
Julian Rees, Pollen8 Cymru founder & project manager commented: “It is wonderful to be part of the Urban Pollen8 Project at St David’s, which will provide habitats for many inspect species in the city. From the outset, this project has generated tremendous enthusiasm from children and adults to learn more about bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife.”
The project complements other activity taking place on the Green Roof at St David’s. In 2013, the centre introduced six beehives to the roof area, which are now home to over 60,000 bees. Using the resulting honey, St David’s is working with Pollen8 and Cardiff University to conduct research into the production of antibacterial honey.
Les Baillie, Professor of Microbiology at Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said: “It’s important to find new ways to treat ho spital infections, because there is a serious problem with antibiotic resistant bacteria. Honey produced by bees can have anti-bacterial properties, so we’re now trying to put the right plants in as many places as possible, for bees to feed upon and produce honey with anti-bacterial properties. It’s great to see plants cultivated in the heart of Cardiff.”