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Hospital meadow will help both pollinators and patients

A COLLABORATION between the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust will help create a new garden and meadow at Airedale Hospital, Eastburn.

As part of the Clapham-based Trust’s Bee Together Project, a program supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund through National Lottery players, bee-friendly garden plants and native wildflowers were planted to create spaces that people and wildlife can enjoy.

Studies show that hospital patients recover faster when they have access to green spaces – and hospital staff will benefit as well, according to the association.

Catherine Mercer, Bee Together Project Manager, said: “The garden is used by staff and visitors, so it has been great helping to create a space that they and the wildlife can enjoy.

“I hope the garden and meadow will bring joy to the staff and patients of Airedale Hospital for many years to come. It has been great doing our part to support the NHS, especially during this very difficult time. ”

Work on the meadow continued last month with Chief Gardener Steve Marshall organizing the degassing of the turf and the planting of root ball plants such as red clover, daisy and knapweed.

The excess sod will also be used to build a bee bank for nesting solitary bees and there are plans to grow root ball plants in the hospital greenhouse.

Penny Collinson, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust Patient Flow Assistant, based at the Airedale Hospital Patient Reception Center, added: “When I started working at Airedale I took the opportunity. to support the Bee Together project. I figured if I developed one of the inner courtyard gardens it might shed light on the plight of pollinators and show how the hospital grounds are changing.

“These natural spaces are for the local community; and I hope that the habitats being created can be used for physical and mental health projects in the future. ”

It is hoped that the work will be completed by the spring of next year.

The Bee Together project seeks to create a corridor of these important habitats between Leeds and Lancaster, contributing to a national network of ‘B lines’ mapped by the nature conservation charity, Buglife.

B lines are a series of “insect trails” that cross countryside and towns. Buglife is working with a number of partners to restore and create stepping stones of habitat rich in wildflowers – ideal for pollinators like bees and butterflies and a host of other wildlife.

This B-line crosses the Yorkshire Dales, the Aire Valley and Lancashire and it is hoped that it will help pollinators grow in new places and move from area to area through a network of new habitats.

This project was generously supported by John Chambers Wildflower Seed, who donated a custom blend of native wildflower seeds to create this meadow and many more.

The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, based in Clapham, works to support the people, the wildlife landscape of the Dales.

To date, the charity has contributed to inspiring projects worth over £ 30million in and around the Yorkshire Dales.

These projects cover areas as diverse as learning in the countryside, supporting local communities, education and awareness, restoring forests and wildlife habitats, and improving access to and understanding of. this special place.

The Trust has over 50,000 supporters.

Buglife describes the north of England as having a “very diverse landscape”.

“This landscape supports a wide range of high-quality habitats rich in wildflowers, including coastal sand dunes, limestone causeways and grasslands, upland hay meadows and areas associated with existing or post-sites. industrial.

“Special areas for pollinators include calcareous habitats and a wide range of habitats rich in high quality wildflowers such as coastal sand dunes, rare magnesian limestone grasslands, Whin grasslands, upland hay grasslands. and the moors of the lowlands ”

He adds, “The B-lines have been mapped with the help of local and national conservation partners and identify a network that aims to connect habitats rich in wildflowers. They will be used by Buglife and our partners to prioritize pollinator conservation efforts in this rich and varied landscape.

“We want partners to work with us to expand and reconnect sites rich in wildflowers, increase the number of pollinating insects and help other wildlife such as bats.”


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