Bees Needs': London and South East case studies
HMP Woodhill – ‘Beeing at One’ garden
HMP Woodhill have created a wildlife habitat to reduce the impact of concrete and wire on vistas, provide a space for reflection, and to benefit nature...
The Woodhill 'Beeing at One' garden is a stunning area that offers hope and peace in the tranquillity of natural beauty from its central position in the prison grounds. Prisoners have constructed a bug wall encouraging bumblebees, solitary bees, and a variety of other insects. A large tiered pond has been created that is home to fish, frogs, damsel and dragon flies. Progressive planting of suitable plants throughout the year promotes increased populations of honey bees and bumblebees.
Six bee hives were installed, of which four appear to have survived the winter. These offer the prisoners and staff alike the opportunity to work with, observe and explore the lives of these fascinating creatures.
The garden offers an oasis of calm in an otherwise chaotic regime. It allows men who are at crisis points in their lives to experience the freedom that comes from contributing to something that is alive, supporting the beauty of nature and so having a chance for inner reflection with spirituality (whether faith or otherwise) as part of wholeness and well-being.
Creating wildlife habitat within the prison supports and enhances biodiversity, stimulates a sense of wellbeing, promotes a principle of environmental improvement, a culture of sustainability and an ethos of ecological conservation for all those who reside, work or visit the prison.
Prisoners are encouraged to fully engage with all projects while learning and developing knowledge and skillsets through a City & Guilds qualification.
Prisoners have been and are openly encouraged to utilise previously obtained knowledge and professional skills with the aim to construct and develop areas/buildings that continues to develop Woodhill greenspace and encourages wildlife environments.
Sandown Castle Community Garden Group, Deal, Kent
Part of Deal in Bloom, competing in South East in Bloom.
This community garden is filled with pollinating plants, herbaceous perennials and bulbs planted with wildlife in mind, with pollen and nectar for each season. The garden is bordered by long grass and includes an insect house, nest boxes and log piles for invertebrates. The tiered garden walls offer many nooks and crevices for bees and insects to shelter, while small watering stations, a mini wildlife pond and a wildflower meadow provide food and drinking water for bees and other wildlife.
Badgemore Primary School, Henley on Thames
The RHS Campaign for School Gardening team has planted willow plum and pear for early spring blooms, as well as apple and crab apples and native hedging to provide good habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.
The school has reduced mowing to once a year in select areas, as the town park’s team does in the area. Their beehives are complemented by a wildlife pond, flower beds and raised veg planters, providing plenty of forage for the resident honeybees.
Dungeness Short-haired bumblebee reintroduction project
The Short-haired bumblebee reintroduction project aims to reintroduce this lost species to the UK, raise awareness of bumblebee and flower meadow declines, increase resident rare bumblebee populations, and recreate and give advice on managing and maintaining flower rich areas. The project has been running since 2009 and is working with farmers, conservation groups, small holders and other land owners to create flower-rich habitat within the release area of Dungeness and Romney Marsh in Kent and East Sussex. Click here to read more.
Christs' Hospital School
In February 2014, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust made a 'call to action' to schools to create a more pollinator friendly habitat.
Schools with suitable land enquired as to how they could create bumblebee-friendly habitat. Christs' Hospital School in Horsham, Sussex, actively took up the challenge and created a meadow in 2014.