Gift to Nature
an Isle of Wight conservation partnership
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Gift to Nature co-ordinates a project to support bumblebees, solitary bees, honey bees and cuckoo bees across the Isle of Wight. We have spent the past four years researching what is happening to our bees, both locally and nationally. Using the evidence from our findings we have started to improve habitats and increase food sources for Island populations of threatened bees. If you would like to help us continue our work you can make a contribution by clicking here, you will be redirected to our project donation page on The Big Give website.
Our bee story started when the Isle of Wight Festival, invited Gift to Nature to help green-up their event. We developed the Hive which has grown each year and is enjoyed by thousands of revellers. We have dressed up as bees, painted big Biffa bins with bees and done (almost) anything to spread the word that our bees need help.
- How has Gift to Nature helped bees so far:
- We have funded a major piece of research into habitat improvements and their impact on Solitary Bees and other key species on the south coast of the Isle of Wight.
- We funded a study of a little field in newchurch where we spotted some unusual bees.
- On finding that this little field supported species never before seen on the Island and some very rare ones. We worked with the landowner to stop the precious habitat being lost to rapidly growing tress (bees like it hot and sunny) and we are creating extra habitat to promote these rare species.
- We have contributed to national bee research.
- We support the annual Isle of Wight Hedgelaying competition which increases the length and quality of hedgerows around the Island and promotes the craft of hedgelaying.
- We promote planting of fruit trees and other nectar bearing plants such as red clover and birdsfoot trefoil.
- We manage several sites to encourage wildflowers and trees which provide a vital food source for wild bees.
- In 2009 we planted a new meadow at Chilton. Click here for details of Chilton Chine.
- We have contributed to VERA’s allotment hives to ensure their hives are healthy and continue to pollinate the surrounding wildflowers and fruit crops.
- We have researched into UK crop pollination by bees. We looked at which crops need bees, when and the habitat requirements of individual pollinators.
For the Festival over the last few years Gift to Nature and friends have:
-Created and built and grown the Hive chill-out garden
-Constructed 100s of wooden hand-crafted bees
-Hand sewn 400 metres of bee bunting...
Protecting bees and their habitats on the Isle of Wight. Local action for a global concern.
There are serious problems with populations of bumblebees, honeybees and solitary bees. Three species of bumblebee are extinct and nine more are threatened, while honeybee and solitary bee populations have seen huge losses in some areas.
There are many ways you can help bees, here's a few ideas to get you started.
Meet the Boyd Bee, sketched in about five minutes back in 2008 he has been used in posters, leaflets and BeeWick cards and appears in multiple locations all over the web, at the Isle of Wight Festival he was joined by 38 wooden bees created in his image.
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