Leavesden Country Park has been awarded a Defra Bees’ Needs Champions Award 2020 for its work helping to protect bees.
The national awards are given to Green Flag Award-winning parks and green spaces that have made improvements to increase awareness of bees and help improve pollinator-friendly environments.
At Leavesden Country Park, much work has been done to attract and nurture bees including the installation of bug hotels, education/community activities and working with the Friends of Leavesden Country Park to make bee baths during lockdown.
Wildflower meadows have been seeded with flowers such as oxeye daisy, ladies bedstraw, meadow buttercup and common knapweed, while wildflowers around the parks’ two fruit orchards are being nurtured to boost a pollinator friendly habitat.
Several bee ‘hotels’ have been crafted from the parks’ deadwood and drilled with holes in a range of sizes to encourage solitary bees such as the Leaf Cutter Bee and Red Mason Bee.
Interpretation boards describing the pollination process and biodiversity of the site will be placed by the Little Blossom Orchard to raise awareness of bees and their habitats, alongside wildflower meadow signs and their role in feeding pollinators.
Thanks to the efforts of the Friends group over the last two years, more than 5,000 nectar rich bulbs have also been planted.
Cllr Chris Lloyd, Three Rivers District Council’s Lead Member for Leisure, said: “The bees are essential to a healthy environment and it is great to see so many different initiatives in the park to support them.”