Bee creative at Devon Wildlife Trust’s family fun day

Monday 24th July 2017

Bug hunting - Matt AustinBug hunting at Devon Wildlife Trust family event - Matt Austin

Devon Wildlife Trust is inviting families to ‘bee creative in the garden’ at a special wild bee family fun day next week.

On August 3, the charity will be opening the gates to the Cricklepit Mill wildlife garden for a family event that aims to celebrate bumblebees and solitary bees, heroes of the pollinator world.

Children will have the chance to create a range of bee themed craft items, including alder bees to hang in the garden, bee mobiles, badge making and bee jewellery.

Create homes for bees

John Walters creating hairy footed bee hotelsFamilies can also have a go at making bee hotels from bamboo sticks and unique cob brick hotels for hairy-footed flower bees. There will also be bug hunting around the garden to help children learn what wildlife lives in the garden.

Located close to the city’s historic quayside, Cricklepit Mill serves as the Exeter headquarters to Devon Wildlife Trust and boasts of an impressive wildlife garden, often described as an urban oasis in the heart of the city.

The event will take place on Thursday 3 August, opening at 10.30am and finishing at 4pm. The charity is asking for a £3.00 donation for children – adults and non-walkers go free.

Wild about gardens

Wild About Gardens logoBee Creative in the Garden! is this year’s Wild About Gardens campaign – a joint initiative between The Wildlife Trusts and The Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) to encourage gardeners to create wildlife havens for the many, once-common, native species of bee.

The call comes as bees are under increasing pressure largely due to loss of habitat. In the countryside, 97% of lowland meadow has already been lost and the dramatic decrease in suitable habitats isn’t just confined to rural areas.

Devon Wildlife Trusts’ Rosie Govier said: “Our wild bee family fun day is set to be a fantastic day out for all the family. We’ve got lots of different craft activities for children to get stuck into and it will also be a great opportunity for kids to learn about the importance of our amazing pollinators!

“We’ve got delicious food on sale from The Big Pot Kitchen so families can come down, do some fun activities and then enjoy lunch in the Cricklepit garden! We’ll also be offering free advice on how to make your garden bee friendly and hopefully we can help people understand that anyone can take bee action – whether it’s growing pollen rich flowers or creating a home for them to live in.”

Get your bee-friendly gardening guide

Wild About Gardens action pack

People can also enter The Wildlife Trusts’ Bee Creative photo competition! Gardeners, gardening groups and schools are encouraged to share how they’ve welcomed wild bees into their gardens by posting a picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – using the hashtag #wildaboutgardens and the category being entered – of their bee-friendly area, whether that be a tailor-made bee home, a flower-packed border or a wall that bees have made their own.

The wild bee-friendly gardening guide, ‘Get your garden buzzing for bees’, is free to download and contains lots of facts about the different species of wild bee, their lifecycles and how they nest, as well as practical steps gardeners can take to help them. It is available to download at wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk

Cricklepit Mill and its garden can be found at Commercial Road, Exeter, EX2 4AB, close to the Bishop Blaize pub and the city’s quay.

For more information about this event visit www.devonwildlifetrust.org or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/devonwildlife and Twitter @CricklepitMill.