Warnings of a so-called “insect apocalypse” have been highlighted through research published recently by University College London revealing that ‘in some parts of the world insect numbers have slumped by almost 50%.’ In attempts to help stabilise the local bee population in the area, Naphill and Walters Ash Primary School has recently received two bee hotels from housebuilder Dandara who is building its development, The Chilterns, just down the road from the school.
Alongside tackling climate change, one of the main conclusions from the research has been to ensure going forward a renewed focus on reserving more space for wildlife to help stem the decline. The Forest Stewardship Council-Approved wooden Bee and Bug Hotels donated to the pupils will provide a home for the bees, especially during late-September, when most bees are looking for shelter. The hotels have been installed in a quiet part of the school grounds, creating a safe location away from predators for a variety of solitary bees such as orchard, mason and leafcutter varieties. It will be used as an educational aid for the pupils, introducing them to the role bees and other insects play as native pollinators, vital for the growth and spread of plants and flowers in nature.
Simon Pendlebury, Managing Director at Dandara Northern Home Counties, comments, “As a responsible housebuilder, we are constantly working to try and find simple but effective ways to safeguard local wildlife, so are really pleased to be able to continue our work with Naphill and Walters Ash School and donate these bee hotels. Research shows that the bee populations are declining, so our hope is that the donation to the pupils will protect the local bees and reverse this trend but also stimulate discussions around the long-term conservation of these populations.”
Hannah Clarke, a Year 6 Teacher at Naphill and Walters Ash School, adds, “With our bees under threat and the prevention of even further losses of these pollinators absolutely crucial, this activity was a great way of ensuring the next generation is discussing this from an early age. We are glad to see Dandara encouraging this with the donation of our new bee homes and look forward to seeing in the autumn term if any bees have moved in over the summer!”
Dandara is currently selling its new homes at The Chilterns in Walters Ash, just 0.5 miles away from Naphill and Walters Ash School, where a number of plots are coming soon.