Council takes lead on Bee-licious pollinator project

Mayor John Scott, John Kerr, Six Mile Water Trust and Susie Hill, Ulster Beekeepers Association admire some of the food products that depend on pollination for growth. INNT 28-510CON
Mayor John Scott, John Kerr, Six Mile Water Trust and Susie Hill, Ulster Beekeepers Association admire some of the food products that depend on pollination for growth. INNT 28-510CON

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is leading an exciting new pollinator project which has been awarded £76,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

‘Bee-licious’, a three-year project designed to restore native flower-rich habitats for pollinating insects, including bumblebees, solitary bees, honeybees, hoverflies and beetles, is being delivered in partnership with seven other councils across Northern Ireland.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott commented: “We are delighted to receive the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Bee-licious project. Our pollinating insects are extremely valuable and it is important that we restore their flower-rich habitats. We look forward to working with other councils to provide a network of Bee-licious sites throughout Northern Ireland.”

Through the Bee-licious project, participating councils will engage with local communities to provide food and homes for pollinators, as well as providing people with training and advice on how to record and protect pollinators.

Paul Mullan, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund NI, added: “We were delighted to support this three-year project. Together with the ‘Magnificent Meadows’ and ‘Don’t Mow, Let it Grow’ projects, we are supporting the pollinator species that are essential not only to our stunning natural environment but also to our thriving agricultural sector. It is thanks to National Lottery players that we can support engaging projects such as these.”

Pollination is the transfer of pollen between flowers, enabling plants to set seed and bear fruit. Crops such as apples, raspberries, beans, clover and rapeseed, all benefit from pollination and without it, many would fail. Essential for the production of food, it is estimated that our pollinators contribute £1.8bn to the UK’s farming economy every year.

Bee-licious is supported by the National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Our Heritage Programme’. The partnership project is led by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, working with seven councils across Northern Ireland, including: Armagh City, Craigavon and Banbridge Borough Council, Belfast City Council, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Mid Ulster District Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Newry and Mourne Borough Council.

For more information about the Our Heritage grant programme log on to www.hlf.org.uk/ourheritage