Holywell gets digging to help our pollinators

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust joined forces to create a ‘Bee-licious’ buzz at Holywell Hospital.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott explained; ‘It was lovely to see Holywell Hospital staff and volunteers enthusiastically planting spring flowering woodland bulbs including; Bluebell, Wild Garlic and Wood Anemone. The bulbs will help to provide food for pollinating insects in the springtime.’

Trust Waste and Recycling Manager, Cara Browne said, ‘Planting the native woodland bulbs is a great way to connect people with nature and help our pollinating insects, especially here at Holywell Hospital, a site surrounded by woodland.’

Randalstown and District Beekeepers Association member, Agnes Brennan helped to plant the woodland bulb species, ‘I thoroughly enjoyed planting the woodland bulbs’, Agnes continued, ‘It is wonderful to know that we have helped to provide an early supply of pollen and nectar for our important pollinating insects.’

The Holywell Hospital woodland flora restoration ‘Bee-licious’ site, is part of a three year project designed to restore our native flower-rich habitats for pollinating insects. The great variety of pollinating insects includes bumblebees, solitary bees, honeybees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and beetles. The project is being led by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council in partnership with seven other Councils across Northern Ireland.

Pollination is the transfer of pollen between flowers enabling plants to set seed and bear fruit. Crops such as apples, raspberries, beans, clover and oilseed rape all benefit from pollination and without it, many would fail. Essential for the production of food, it is estimated that our pollinators contribute £1.8bn to the UK’s farming economy every year.