We have worked with various Tidy Towns Groups, schools and Youth Groups to create practical conservation projects for the participants. Here is a small selection. We would be delighted to help your group also.
Blessington Tidy Towns Bee Route
We worked with Blessington Tidy Towns to develop and brand a Bee Route for Blessington. This comprised coming up with a design to reflect and capture the essence of what Blessington Tidy Towns was trying to do to engage local residents to participate in this beneficial project. Once a brand was developed, we worked on compiling a practical starter pack for participants. This starter pack included a branded Tote Bag, A5 leaflet, native Irish wildflower seeds, branded Resource Document, other useful information and pollinator friendly plants.
The aim of the A5 leaflet was to summarise the myriad resources available to assist Bee Route participants in creating pollinator friendly habitats and gardens. This A5 leaflet had bullet points on:
-Simple Actions for pollinators
-Pollinator friendly flowers per Season with images
-How to create a wildflower area
Education was a major component of this project as well as branding and production of a starter pollinator pack. We developed a programme of 4 workshops which were delivered to over 30 participants weekly. These workshops covered the following 4 themes:
- Biodiversity in the Community and developing a bee route
- So, what’s in my garden?
- Garden Actions for Wildlife
- My garden and the Blessington Bee Route; how do I do it?
All aspects of learning how to identify common bees and other insects, wildflowers, simple actions to help bees, amphibians, birds and other wildife, how to log information on Pollinators.ie, how to participate in Citizen Science surveys and many other relevant topics were covered.
A survey was conducted among participants and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with participants eager to get out and put their learning into action.
We will upload the Blessington Tidy Towns leaflet, tote bag image and other resources once participants in the Blessington Bee Route have received their branded Blessington Tidy Towns Bee Route pollinator starter pack.
School Pollinator Garden
We worked with a local school to create a pollinator garden from scratch and with no budget! The school staff were amazing and the children were involved in weeding, planting and designing and drawing pollinator signs for the garden. We designed the garden to maximise space for all pollinators. We used sloped soil for solitary bees, rocks for resting butterflies, evergreen perennials to allow for a winter friendly look also. Most of the plants used were sourced from local shops and families and were pollinator friendly.
An unused public space was converted into a wildlife friendly area. We started by completely clearing the area of weeds and stones then we designed what we wanted the space to look like. A local Men’s Shed made the insect hotel and school children sourced free wildlife friendly items like tubes, hollow bricks and logs for the logpile. Only native Irish wildflower seed was used. We used lots of free stuff to make animal shelters and nesting sites e.g. blocks with holes for solitary bees, gutter piping for insects, roof slate for hedgehog hibernacula and logpile for hibernating lizards, frogs and insects. As Wildflower areas can look ‘messy’ at the start, we put a shape on it to make it look like there was a plan in place. The edge was shaped and Spring bulbs planted along the edge. Children drew their own signs for the garden which have pride of place now.
Urban Pollinator Garden
Many people live in apartments or semi detached homes in urban and suburban areas. We have created a small patch to illustrate how easy it is to have a beautiful and functional small pollinator space. Use of vertical space and pots is an easy option. It is good to start off with a plan or design that allows for evergreens in Winter, plants of all sizes and most importantly, to have flowering plants throughout the pollinator season; February to November. Even if you don’t have a big garden, you can leave an area of long grass for nesting bumble bees. Bare soil patches provide habitat for solitary mining bees and leaving plant stems in winter provides hollow spaces for solitary cavity bees.