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Holywell Hospital gets digging to help our pollinators

29 November 2016

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust recently joined forces to create a ‘Bee-licious’ buzz by planting spring bulbs at Holywell Hospital.

The planting scheme, which was delivered by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, is part of the Bee-licious project and the woodland flora restoration site at Holywell Hospital joins several other Bee-licious sites across the Borough. 

Bee-licious is a three year project designed to restore our native flower-rich habitats for pollinating insects, including bumblebees, solitary bees, honeybees, butterflies, moths and beetles and is being delivered in partnership with seven other Councils across Northern Ireland.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott was delighted to help with the project; “It was lovely to see Holywell Hospital staff and volunteers enthusiastically planting spring flowering woodland bulbs including bluebell, wild garlic and wood anemone. The bulbs will help to provide food for pollinating insects in the springtime.”

Northern Health and Social Care Trust Waste and Recycling Manager, Cara Browne commented; “Planting the native woodland bulbs is a great way to connect people with nature and help our pollinating insects, especially here at Holywell Hospital, a site surrounded by woodland. We were delighted to be involved in this project with the local Council.”

Randalstown and District Beekeepers Association member, Agnes Brennan also helped to plant the woodland bulb species; “I thoroughly enjoyed planting the bulbs. It’s great to know that we have helped to provide an early supply of pollen and nectar for our important pollinating insects.”

Pollination is described as the transfer of pollen between flowers enabling plants to set seed and bear fruit. Crops such as apples, raspberries, beans, clover and oilseed rape all benefit from pollination and without it, many would fail. Essential for the production of food, it is estimated that our pollinators contribute £1.8bn to the UK’s farming economy every year.