World’s first town-centre honey sanctuary being built in East Lancashire

28 July 2015

THE world’s first town-centre honey sanctuary is being built in East Lancashire.

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Newground is working alongside Burnley Council to develop the world’s first urban bee hive cage, which provides protection to honey bees, installed in Queen’s Park, Burnley.

And plans are in place for the second one to go up in Towneley Park recognising their importance to food crops, gardens and the countryside.

Funded through Nesta’s Rethinking Parks programme, the initiative aims to improve habitats for bees and other pollinators such as butterflies in Burnley’s parks and other green spaces.

The design of the cage, which is made of perforated steel sheets, controls the flight of bees in and out of the hives, allowing good ventilation and provides protection whilst allowing people to see the hives.

The hives form part of an urban bee farm with more than 40 hives located across Burnley which are looked after by Offshoot’s beekeepers and a team of volunteers.

Cllr Bea Foster, Burnley Council’s executive member for leisure and culture, said: “As the council’s budget is reduced, we are developing ways of managing our parks at lower cost, such as introducing more wildflower meadows into parks.

“These encourage wildlife and provide excellent forage for honey bees, so it is a natural step to introduce bee hives.”

Phill Dewhurst, Offshoots project manager, said: “If the prototype is successful we are looking forward to being able introduce bee hives into other parks and green spaces in Burnley and we see this as an idea that parks elsewhere in the country will be interested in.”

The Offshoots Permaculture Project is based in the grounds of Towneley Hall, Burnley, encouraging people to lead sustainable lifestyles within their communities and homes.

Its inventive mindset has seen the growing of Spaghetti Squash, a beautiful edible flower, easy to grow, great fun for kids because when your open the squash its full of edible string.

Meanwhile, a Bee Friendly Greenspaces scheme is establishing new British black honeybees sites at Stubbylee Park in Bacup and Accrington and Rossendale College. Our current bee project at Offshoots, Bees Beyond the Borough, is working towards the conservation of the British black honey bee.  The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Beds of wild flowers and fruit trees are also being planted to increase pollination and fertilisation thanks to £19,995 of match funding by Newground Together, a charity which drives social and environmental change.

This article is written by the Lancashire Telegraph, you can read the original article here.


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