Sussex bee experts help Brighton park to win national award
The University of Sussex’s involvement in a bee-friendly flower bed has contributed to national recognition for a central-Brighton park.
Parks staff and volunteer gardeners at The Level are celebrating winning a ‘Bees Needs’ award, for work to attract bees and other pollinating insects.
The Level is one of only three parks in the south-east and one of 15 across England to win the award, made by environmental group Keep Britain Tidy as part of the Green Flag Awards. The Bees Needs Award for Innovation is supported by Defra and the National Pollinator Strategy.
The accolade recognises a range of measures carried out as part of restoration of The Level, which was completed by Brighton & Hove City Council in 2013.
Among these is the new ‘bee bed’ in the north-west corner of the park, which showcases the attractive garden plants that people can grow themselves to benefit a variety of pollinators, an initiative with the University’s Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects ( LASI ).
Professor Francis Ratnieks , Professor of Apiculture, said: “It is great to be partnering the enthusiastic people at The Level. Over the past six years, the University has been carrying out research on the use of garden plants by bees and other insects, and this is a chance to bring the research to the public.
“We made a list of 14 ‘beeand butterfly-friendly’ garden plants that bloom in the summer and supplied these to The Level where they can be used to help educate the public to see how easy it is to grow bee-friendly plants and also to count the numbers of bees and insects.”
This outreach work was based on research carried out in the LASI, which involved studying the attractiveness of summer-flowering garden plants to bees and other flower-visiting insects using a special garden planted behind the Library on the Sussex campus.
The bee-friendly flower bed at The Level was created as part of ongoing collaboration through the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere programme to improve urban green spaces. The University of Sussex is one of more than 40 local organisations involved in the biosphere partnership.
Posted on behalf of: LASI
Last updated: Thursday, 30 July 2015