How we created a new bee haven in Brighton
I love my job. I'm lucky to be a paid worker at Friends of the Earth. But after 20-odd years campaigning anyone could get jaded. That's why I'm particularly chuffed to have spent a recent morning away from my computer and phone, out in the open, making a difference in a practical way.
I'm a member of my local Friends of the Earth group - made up entirely of volunteers who push for a better environment in our area. With them I helped create a haven for bees. We worked with a local woodland conservation group to set up one of Friends of the Earth's 60 Bee Worlds. We lopped, sawed, tugged and raked a south-facing slope in woods near where I live.
The bare soil we left might look odd to passers-by - but it will actually provide a great home for solitary bees. These bees don't live in hives, don't make honey but do pollinate many of our crops. About 90% of our bees are actually solitary ones. It's vital they have places to live.
I'm hoping my children grow up actively cherishing our environment - not just reading about it but doing something. There's hope for my daughter - she's the one dressed as a bee in the foreground below.
The Bee Cause campaign highlights the threats to bees in our country and is calling on David Cameron to set out a National Bee Action Plan to give guidance on what needs to be done for bees to survive. If you haven't signed our petition please do and if you have, why not find 2 other people to do it?
I'm really proud to have helped to create this bee haven and plan to help bees thrive there in future. We're also planting a wildflower patch for bees outside St Nicholas' Church, Brighton in the spring.
Brenda Pollack, Regional Campaigner, South East
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© Brenda Pollack