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Lesnes Abbey the bees' knees when it comes to bees' needs

PUBLISHED: 10:59 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:59 31 October 2019

Lesnes Abbey Woods won a Bees Needs Champions Award. Picture: Wendy Impett

Lesnes Abbey Woods won a Bees Needs Champions Award. Picture: Wendy Impett

Archant

The sweet taste of success is causing quite a buzz in Bexley.

Fantastic work carried out at Lesnes Abbey Woods to encourage wildlife, pollinators and increase bee numbers, has won a Year of Green Action Bees' Needs Champions Award under 
the parks and green spaces category.

Judges were greatly impressed by measures which have included establishing a new wildflower meadow, changing mowing regimes and increasing woodland edge habitat. Woodland paths and glades have been created to promote flowering plants and to provide routes for pollinators to commute between habitats.

Other initiatives include:

* working to preserve heather

* promoting a long flowering season by tackling competing vegetation and protecting certain areas from heavy footfall

* allowing ivy to flower on trees and retaining areas for nesting bees

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* planting garden areas with a variety of plants known to attract pollinators, eg thyme and lavender

* educating and raising awareness through the Field Studies Council Learn to Love Bees workshop.

Much of the work is carried out by Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers, student groups, corporate volunteers and partner organisations such as Trees for Cities.

Cllr Peter Craske, Bexley's cabinet member for places, said: "Lesnes Abbey Woods is a hive of activity when it comes to dedicated workers, volunteers, nature conservation and education. I would like to thank everybody involved for all their hard work.

"I hope this will encourage even more families to visit Lesnes Abbey Woods and to discover everything it has to offer. The experiences available there are truly un-bee-lievable."

At total of 33 projects nationwide received Champions Awards in the parks and green spaces category of this year's competition, which is run by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The category was run in partnership with the Green Flag Awards. Presentations will be made at a ceremony in London on November 18.

The woods, in Abbey Wood, are known for their abbey ruins and formal gardens.

Further information on the awards, as well as tips on creating bee friendly environments can be found at Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

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