Not far from our Shropshire growing site is an enlightened farmer who is encouraging the local community to create a network of wildflower meadows to act as a “bee road”.
The below is an excerpt from a BBC article (published on the 23rd of June) about this wonderful initiative.
Chris Jerman, from Chirbury in Shropshire, started growing the meadows in 2019 for pollinating insects and said the response had been brilliant. “The amount of goodwill it has created in the local community has been fantastic,” he said.
Mr Jerman has encouraged neighbouring farms to follow suit and create a “bee road” for the insects. The idea is to create a network of wildflower meadows so bees can fly around the countryside and always find a food source easily. “Rather than say one farmer that maybe grew 300 acres of this… far better that 300 farmers just grow an acre of it,” Mr Jerman said.
Milk co-operative Arla Foods UK organised the project and said they wanted to reverse the decline in bees in recent years. The insects play an important role in pollinating flowers and plants and the fall in their numbers due to changing temperatures and pesticides has been well documented.
An expert on wildflowers worked with Mr Jerman, helping him to choose a variety of species which bloom at different times during the year.”What is ideal about them is they do not like fertile land so we do not have to give up the best bits of the farm that produce all your food,” he said. “If anything we want the worst bits.”
As well as helping bees to thrive, Mr Jerman said the relationship was mutually beneficial as the insects go on to pollinate crops. “It’s really important we find that balance on farms between producing food for the consumer and also producing food for biodiversity,” he said.
We were so pleased to come across this feel-good story and we are thrilled that the local community is on board and engaged with the need to ensure that our precious pollinators are provided with food source. The more of these “bee roads” that appear across the countryside, the better! The Wildflower Turf Ltd team know first-hand just how important wildflowers are in helping bees and other insects thrive. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we start to see Bee Super-Highways running up and down the length of the country.