Published date 20 February 2023

1/2 million boost for bees announced by Metro Mayor

Woman and child planting flower

Local groups are being encouraged to apply for new cash to support West of England bees.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris has announced £500,000 of funding for projects that support the region’s pollinator superheroes as part of his commitment to make the West of England the bee and pollinator capital of the UK.

Schools, volunteer and community groups, sports clubs, faith groups and other bee-loving groups can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £100,000. Applicants must show how they will expand and protect bee habitats, for example by installing "bug hotels", upgrading a neglected local green space or planting fruit trees or wildflower meadows. The best projects will be selected for funding by an expert panel.

The half-a-million cash boost will build on the Mayor’s successful scheme launched last year that has funded a dozen projects including a mini orchard, Pollinator Trail and outdoor classrooms. In total over 220,000 square metres of land across the region has been transformed so far thanks to the Mayor’s scheme to serve the West’s vital pollinator friends.

On a visit to Oldbury on Seven Church of England Primary School, who received a £17,000 grant last year, Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’m proud to announce that my West of England Mayoral Authority is investing even more in bees. It’s fantastic to be doing so at Oldbury-on-Severn School's outdoor classroom because the pupils here know bees are bee-rilliant. I’ve made bees a priority as they’re vital to making sure our crops are pollinated and we have food to eat year-round. Whether it is planting blooming wildflower meadows in parks or installing bee-friendly green roofs on community buildings, my message to all West of England pollinator pal groups is - get applying! This is an important step as make the West of England Mayoral region a force to bee reckoned with when it comes to supporting our region’s pollinator superheroes”.

Oldbury-on-Severn Primary school are using their Metro Mayor grant to plant 1000 square metres of blooming wildflower meadows bursting with colour on their school grounds and build a brand-new ‘outdoor classroom’ for 60 lessons per year for students to learn how to look after the region’s food heroes. The classroom will be open to community groups like ‘Forest Tots’ toddler group, St. Arilda’s Church Community, Oldbury Village Community and others.

Who can apply?
• Volunteer, community groups, and NGOs
• Town councils, parish councils and unitary authorities
• Schools and education organisations
• Youth groups, sports clubs, churches
• Not for Profit groups managing community spaces

The closing date for applications is 19 April 2023.

To apply visit the Bee Bold webpage.

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