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Bee-friendly flowers planted at Beachfields, Sheerness, for Big Green Week


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Bees are flocking back to Beachfields seafront park at Sheerness thanks to a redesign of its flower beds.

Special pollinator-friendly species have been added to planters once sat in Sheerness High Street and summer varieties in the flower beds have been replaced in favour of all-year round coloured plans and grasses.

Pupils from the Oasis Academy went on a bee hunt at Beachfields, Sheerness, as part of the Great Big Green Week with Emma Lansdell, left, of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Ali Corbel of Swale council
Pupils from the Oasis Academy went on a bee hunt at Beachfields, Sheerness, as part of the Great Big Green Week with Emma Lansdell, left, of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Ali Corbel of Swale council
Emma Lansdell from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust checks out a queen buff bumblebee found in Beachfields, Sheerness, by Oasis Academy pupil Summer Smith, 14, during Great Big Green Week
Emma Lansdell from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust checks out a queen buff bumblebee found in Beachfields, Sheerness, by Oasis Academy pupil Summer Smith, 14, during Great Big Green Week
Oasis Academy pupil Lacey Hake, 13, found a common carder bumblebee at Beachfields, Sheerness, during Great Big Green Week
Oasis Academy pupil Lacey Hake, 13, found a common carder bumblebee at Beachfields, Sheerness, during Great Big Green Week

The £2,000 make-over made its official debut on Wednesday as part of the national Great Big Green Week celebrations.

Pupils from the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey were on hand for a litter-pick and then went in search of insects.

Emma Lansdell from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Kent Wildlife Trust has been leading Kent County Council's Plan Bee project to make council-owned land more sustainable.

She said: "Swale council has chosen perennial plants and flowers to attract bees and other pollinators like butterflies, beetles, wasps and moths which need pollen and nectar. Sheppey already attracts a wide range of bees, some very rare, because it has so much grazing marsh left."

Bees are under threat because of the increased use of pesticides, the loss of their habitat, diseases from abroad and climate change.

Pupils from the Oasis Academy went on a bee hunt at Beachfields, Sheerness, as part of the Great Big Green Week
Pupils from the Oasis Academy went on a bee hunt at Beachfields, Sheerness, as part of the Great Big Green Week
The new-look Beachfiels seafront park at Sheerness is bursting into colour with the recent planting of bee-friendly plants in the flower beds
The new-look Beachfiels seafront park at Sheerness is bursting into colour with the recent planting of bee-friendly plants in the flower beds
Sad Beachfields seafront park at Sheerness in June before new flowers were planted
Sad Beachfields seafront park at Sheerness in June before new flowers were planted

Ali Corbel, Swale' council's green spaces activities co-ordinator, said: "We have prairie-planted a new bee-friendly bed of flowers. They are designed to move like a wave in the wind.

"When they flower they will be mainly blue and white, to give a seaside feel, with hints of colour to reflect the sunsets you can see off Sheerness."

They include echinacea, baptisia australis, panicum virgatum, perovskia, echinops ritro, calamagrostis, miscanthus and agastache.

Sheppey Matters has also created a community garden and plans to create a dementia-friendly walk to Blue Town. The metre-high planters from the High Street allow wheelchair-users to lend a hand with weeding.

Swale's seafront officer Ian Arnell also gave advice on how to keep beaches clean.

Wellbeing advice from the Harmony Therapy Trust was on offer at the Great Big Green Week event at Beachfields seafront park, Sheerness. Picture shows founder Dawn Cockburn, left, with volunteers Tony Stubley and Kelly Smith in front of glass globes containing the £1 Harmony Happiness Kits
Wellbeing advice from the Harmony Therapy Trust was on offer at the Great Big Green Week event at Beachfields seafront park, Sheerness. Picture shows founder Dawn Cockburn, left, with volunteers Tony Stubley and Kelly Smith in front of glass globes containing the £1 Harmony Happiness Kits
The new-look Beachfiels seafront park at Sheerness is bursting into colour with the recent planting of bee-friendly plants in the flower beds
The new-look Beachfiels seafront park at Sheerness is bursting into colour with the recent planting of bee-friendly plants in the flower beds
The new-look Beachfiels seafront park at Sheerness is bursting into colour with the recent planting of bee-friendly plants in the flower beds
The new-look Beachfiels seafront park at Sheerness is bursting into colour with the recent planting of bee-friendly plants in the flower beds

Dawn Cockburn and her team of volunteers from the Harmony Therapy Trust shared wellbeing tips. They were selling £1 happiness kits to raise funds.

The kits feature an eraser to make your mistakes disappear, a coin so you are never broke, a marble in case someone says you have lost yours, a rubber band to stretch your limits, string when things start falling apart and a heart to remind you someone still loves you.

Seashells Children and Families Centre in Rose Street, Sheerness, hosted a roadshow on the same day as part of the Great Big Green Week with Swale council to raise awareness of climate change and sustainable living.

Kooties, which makes sustainable school clothing for children, held a free make-from-waste community fun day for youngsters on Saturday as part of Great Big Green Week.

There were three one-hour sessions at the Sheppey Hall, formerly the Borough Hall, in Borough Road, Queenborough, from 1pm to 4pm.

Close-up of a queen buff bumblebee found by Oasis Academy pupils Summer Smith, 14, during the Great Big Green Week event at Beachfields seafront park, Sheerness
Close-up of a queen buff bumblebee found by Oasis Academy pupils Summer Smith, 14, during the Great Big Green Week event at Beachfields seafront park, Sheerness

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