Schoolchildren get buzzy to help take care of our pollinators

Pupils from Antrim Primary and St Comgall's Primary Schools recently got their hands dirty as they helped to restore a native wildflower meadow at Antrim Forum.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott and pupils of Antrim and St Comgall's Primary Schools at the wildflower meadow at Antrim Forum. They are joined by Kate McAllister, RSPB, Ivor Falls, Randalstown and District Beekeepers, Mark Bryson, Ecoseeds and members of the Parks Team.

This restoration work, which was delivered by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, is part of the ‘Bee-licious’ project and the site at Antrim Forum is the first Bee-licious site for the local authority.

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 including the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

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Pollination is 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 United Kingdom’s farming economy every year.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott said he was delighted to help with the wildflower sowing.

“I thoroughly enjoyed helping to sow the wildflower seeds with local school pupils. I was very impressed with how much the children knew about wildflowers and how they can help to provide food for pollinating insects,” he said.

Randalstown and District Beekeepers Association member, Ivor Falls, also helped with the sowing.

He said: “It was great to be out with the pupils and learn more about our native wildflowers and how we can help our pollinating insects.”