October 9, 2016
Parks all over the country are now getting news of their David Bellamy Award for 2016/17. The great news is that of the 586 parks involved in the scheme this year, 453 have made Gold, 89 Silver and 44 Bronze. These awards have been based on the reports received from our expert assessors – they highlight how much good work is being done by parks from the West Country right up to the Highlands.
This is the second year we’ve run our Honey Bee Friendly initiative and the great bee-friendly news is that almost 350 of the parks in the scheme have been given Honey Bee Friendly status. This means they’ve put in the forage plants that bees need to survive, have spread the word about the importance of bee conservation and have worked to give bees a home. Many other parks have started on this work by taking the Honey Bee Pledge – so hopefully, as the work they’ve put in bares fruit, we’ll see even more parks becoming Honey Bee Friendly in 2017.
The range of other work that parks have put in for the environment is inspirational. From the creation of new wildflower meadows to the creation of new native hedgerows and woodlands, parks have been busy creating new habitats for wildlife. They’ve been leaving areas of grassland to grow wild, leaving brambles in place to provide a place for animals to shelter and birds to feed and digging new wildlife ponds to provide places for amphibians to breed.
At the same time, they’ve been working hard to help guests appreciate and learn about the wildlife and countryside around them. Putting in new interpretation, signage, wildlife trails and walks. They have also been developing great new programmes of wildlife activities, with a number of parks creating dedicated wildlife information and event centres.
Sustainability and good neighbourliness haven’t been forgotten either – parks across the country have been putting in new renewable energy systems (bio-mass has been a particular favourite this year) and have been working hard to help their guests and residents save energy, conserve water and re-use and recycle more waste. They’ve also been linking up with local wildlife groups and getting their local communities and schools involved in the conservation work they’ve been doing – one park has even taken its bees to its local school to show the children how amazing and important these insects are.
All in all, 2016 has been another amazing year for all the parks in the scheme. Well done to everyone involved!