Bees buzzing as new biodiversity habitats created at Severn Trent sites

World Bee Day is a celebration of the pollinators we need
World Bee Day is a celebration of the pollinators we need -Credit:Severn Trent Water

A water company operating in the Midlands is marking World Bee Day at its sites by highlighting the creation of biodiversity habitats. The vital pollinators are buzzing at Severn Trent sites like the one in Draycote thanks to wildlife meadows and flower beds.

World Bee Day celebrates everything about the pollen-loving insect. There are around 250 species of bees in the UK who, along with other pollinators, help support everything from crop production to biodiversity and, indirectly, water quality.

Recent decades have seen them under threat from habitat loss caused by increasing urbanisation of the countryside, as well as farming pesticides.

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Bryony Harrison, Senior Biodiversity Project Manager at Severn Trent, said: “Pollinators like bees are vitally important for the ecosystem because they are essential for the life cycle of almost all flowering plants. We do a lot of work on our own land, including with conservation groups like Buglife, to help them thrive. It’s a wonderful and positive part of the job.”

The Severn Trent biodiversity teams also work with farmers across the region to help reduce pesticides through our STEPS grants (Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme).

A wildlife meadow created for bees
A wildlife meadow created for bees -Credit:Severn Trent

Herefordshire farmer Matthew Duggan not only developed his own natural pesticide alternative, but he’s also received Severn Trent funding for a Closed Transfer System (CTS) for crop spraying, which helps further minimise any impacts on nature.

He said: “We want to reduce our reliance on inputs and help build natural defences in our crops.”

Severn Trent has helped fund flower-rich mini-meadows on farmlands across the region, which become a hot spot for the bees. And they previously also introduced closely managed honeybee populations at sites including reservoirs at Draycote in Warwickshire, Tittesworth in Staffordshire and at Stanton Harold in Derbyshire.

Working in partnership with Buglife, they have launched the Get the Marches Buzzing Project, aiming to restore 63 hectares of flower-rich habitat in Shropshire and North Herefordshire to provide pollen and nectar throughout the seasons.

“We know that our land supports a huge range of important pollinators including bees,” said Bryony, who is part of a passionate biodiversity team at Severn Trent.

“Our funding of the Buglife project is informed by its ‘B-Lines’ – insect pathways which are really important connectivity corridors. So far we have funded over 20ha of biodiversity interventions for pollinators on third-party land through the Buglife partnership.”

She added: “Bees are vital to our ecosystem, they are classed as a keystone species. If we did not have bees, there would not be a lot else going on.”