Pollinator patches get Torbay buzzing

Pollinator Patches - SW in Bloom Award Hannah Darren
(Last Updated On: November 11, 2021)

A scheme to bring colour to Torbay and create a buzz for everyone through urban flower meadows has been a great success.

The ‘Pollinator Patch’ scheme led to a ‘blooming marvellous’ area of nearly 520 square metres of urban flower meadows planted across 19 community sites across the Bay. The Pollinator Patch also won ‘The London & Manchester Trophy (Outstanding contribution to an environmental initiative)’ in the recent South West in Bloom Awards.

The scheme was the result of a partnership between Torbay Council, SWISCo, Groundwork South and local community groups, and seeds were supplied by Taylor Rigby. Community groups were able to apply for Pollinator Patch kits to help create a patchwork of flowerbeds, planters, pots and plots in community spaces, to provide nectar rich flowers for pollinators such as bees.

Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “We are delighted with the success of the Pollinator Patch scheme and look forward to building on this next year. It is a fantastic example of how the Council can work together with partners in the community to enhance our open spaces for the benefit of the environment, local residents and visitors to the Bay.”

patch in bloom Hookhills Triangle.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said: “The Pollinator Patch scheme is one of a number of projects we’ve developed with partners aimed at helping to tackle climate change and encouraging more community involvement in our parks and open spaces. We look forward to working with more groups next year, and don’t forget there are a range of other local schemes you can get involved with, such as your local Green Space group, becoming a Tree Warden, or organising a local litter pick or beach clean.”

Of the 19 sites, 14 were prepared and sown by community groups, three were prepared and sown by SWISCo. There were also two patches prepared and sown by pupils from local schools Shiphay Academy and Oldway Primary School with support from Groundwork South as part of the Green Influencers Scheme. One patch was even prepared and sown by children from a local nursery, Peekaboo Childcare.


Peekaboo Childcare nursery pollinator patch

In addition, at eight of the sites the scheme brought local communities together where a green space group did not already exist.

Benefits of urban flower meadows

– providing bees with food sources across the seasons
– enhancing the natural beauty of Torbay
– providing a talking point for local people and visitors
– providing food for insects in the form of leaves, nectar and pollen, shelter and places to breed
insects pollinate the flowers to enable them to develop seeds and spread to grow in other places
many of our favourite fruits, vegetables and nuts rely on insect pollination, for example, strawberries, raspberries and cherries

There are plans to plant on the same sites and invite other groups to apply for Pollinator Patch kits in the spring of 2022 so watch this space.

More information on this and a number of other open spaces projects in Torbay are available at www.torbay.gov.uk/openspaces

If you want to get involved with your local green space you can also contact engagement@torbay.gov.uk

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