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Horsham Park wins national bee friendly award

Horsham District Council and The Friends of Horsham Park have won a national award for their exemplary work to support the development of pollinator plants in Horsham Park.

They have been presented with a Bees’ Needs Champion Award for 2021.

The Bees’ Needs Awards recognise and celebrate examples of exemplary initiatives to support pollinator flowers and plants.

The joint submission between the Council’s Parks and Countryside team and The Friends of Horsham Park is a winner in the Local Authority and Community category.

This award, sponsored by Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), recognises the extensive hard work undertaken in Horsham Park to provide food and home for pollinating insects.

Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture Cllr Roger Noel commented:

"This is a very special achievement and it is great to see that the dedicated bee bed legacy project from the 2019 Year of Culture is continuing to make such a difference, both to the appearance of the Park and to the local environment.

My thanks go out to our Parks and Countryside team and the army of volunteers from The Friends of Horsham Park for all their hard work. It is particularly pleasing that the work we are doing is also inspiring and educating park users in the vital role that pollinators take in restoring and creating the right habitats."

This award is well-deserved recognition for all those who have contributed time, money, and effort to make the park a fabulous place for our community and visitors.

Chair of The Friends of Horsham Park Sally Sanderson added:

"The Friends are delighted that our bee bed has been recognised by this award. It has been fun creating it and we hope it inspires people to select pollinator-friendly plants for their gardens.  Even a pot on a balcony can be a great nectar bar for bees in an urban environment. We can all help to meet bees’ needs."

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow MP sent a personal letter of congratulations to the teams, in it she said:

"I would like to offer you my sincere congratulations for being one of our Bees’ Needs Awards Champions for 2021. On behalf of Defra as a whole, we are grateful for the exceptional work that you have done to help pollinators survive and thrive throughout the country."

The UK’s 1,500 species of pollinators play such a crucial role in all of our lives, helping flowers, fruit trees and crops to grow, and contributing around half a billion pounds a year of value to UK agriculture. Not only this, but they are also beautiful creatures that we value in their own right.

I was particularly impressed by your Bee Garden, the actions you have taken to enhance the pollinator-friendly habitat in the park, and how you have engaged and educated visitors at the same time.

We know that it is critical that we act now, internationally and at home, to ensure that we leave our environment in a better state for future generations. Your successful work has played a vital role in making this happen.”

DEFRA a runs the Bees’ Needs Champions Awards in partnership with the Green Flag Awards, the Bee Farmers’ Association, Championing the Farmed Environment and the Nature Friendly Farming Network. The awards celebrate examples of exemplary initiatives undertaken by local authorities, community groups, farmers and businesses to support pollinators.

The annual Bees’ Needs Champions Awards took place online in November 2021.

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