North Northants is buzzing with bee-friendly habitats


23 May 2023

Colony of bees

Officers at North Northamptonshire Council have been busy bees, creating bee-friendly habitats in the local area.

Working alongside local beekeeper Trevor Pywell who has always enjoyed the outdoors and countryside, a green space in Barton Seagrave has been left, with wildflowers now growing, increasing pollen levels for bees and other insects.

When I was younger, I remember seeing hundreds of butterflies, bees and other pollinators and during my lifetime I have noticed a massive reduction.

By keeping bees locally and having more uncut areas of wildflowers, I hope we can reverse this decline. I keep one of my bee colonies close to the green in Barton Seagrave, so approached the council to ask if they would leave a six-metre ‘no mow’ zone around my house throughout May to allow my bees to feed nearby. Within hours, signs had been placed all around the village green, saying things like ‘excuse the weeds, we are feeding the bees’ and I am pleased that the entire green will remain uncut until June.

It is wonderful to see so many wildflowers which have all appeared in the three weeks since being left uncut - my bees are very happy.
Trevor Pywell

The team are now looking at other areas near to managed bee colonies where pollen rich environments can be created, by working with other beekeepers.

This recent work follows on from the popular ‘Pardon the weeds’ campaign which has run in Kettering and Corby for many years and has received international recognition. The scheme has been extended into Wellingborough and the teams are exploring options in the former East Northants area. 

The scheme runs from March through to June each year, with wildflowers growing and grass left to grow longer, creating bee-friendly habitats.

The valuable work improves pollinator habitats in urban areas and includes the use of ‘feed the bees’ signs on verges and in parks to explain why the area looks a little different to previously. 

All of the work that is currently being done to make North Northants more bee-friendly is part of our wider Pollinator Strategy which sets out the actions we are taking to help reverse the decline in pollinator populations. 

I am pleased that the teams are working so hard, with beekeepers like Trevor to create a greener environment, not just for bees but also for residents.
Cllr Harriet Pentland, the council’s Executive Member for Climate and Green Environment
Since our Pollinator Strategy was approved, our teams have been working hard with more wildflowers appearing across the area. It is great to hear stories like this that show a more personal touch and highlights some of the great day-to-day work our Officers do.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

If you manage a bee colony and would like to get involved, please contact us online.

View the full Pollinator Strategy.