Bumblebee Day Success

Bumblebees in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park won an army of new fans recently.

Around 30 people attended a Bumblebee Celebration Day during August on the Castlemartin MOD Range, organised by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Equipped with butterfly nets and pots, the team headed out onto the Castlemartin Range Trail to search for some of the rarest bumblebees in Britain.

Dr Pippa Rayner, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s Conservation Officer for England and Wales, said: “We found five species in five minutes – including the brown banded carder bumblebee, one of the rarest bees in the UK – and I couldn’t be more pleased.

“It shows that the work that is being done here on the Castlemartin Range to maintain good habitats for our bumblebees is proving a success.”

The event was run in partnership with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and the MOD.

In the afternoon, National Park staff demonstrated the machinery that is used to cut and maintain the wildflower grasslands which are so important to the bees’ survival.

Participant Sue Beckett, visiting from the Midlands, said: “It’s been fascinating to learn about the bumblebees, I had no idea there were 24 species. It’s inspired me to try to create a wildflower habitat in my garden to encourage more bumblebees.”

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust won an online competition last year for funding from the European Outdoor Conservation Association for the Pembrokeshire Bumblebee Path Project. The funding helps to provide wildflower habitats for bumblebees along the Castlemartin Range Trail.

The 10km Trail is open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders and was funded by the Welsh Government and the MOD with a donation from the British Horse Society.

To find out more about bumblebees log onto www.bumblebeeconservation.org.uk.

To find out more about the project itself, click here.