Plan bee for county hall
5th June 2019
County Hall needs to add a ‘pollination action plan’ to its environment strategy.
That’s the view of Cllr Sean Holden, County and Borough Councillor for Cranbrook who said he wants a review on the use of pesticides, grass-cutting schedules and opportunities for buildings to be more pollinator friendly.
He outlined his ideas to Kent County Council’s Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee late last month, and said that his proposals will go before next Full Council meeting in July.
After the meeting, he told the Times: “When I first heard about the plight of the bees a few years ago, when their numbers were halved due to poor weather conditions, I thought we could just introduce more bee hives, but it doesn’t work like that.
“Having spoken to beekeepers, I learnt that it was all about bees having enough forage, and that their habitat needs to be protected and preserved.
“Around half of all the food we eat relies on pollinating of plants, so this has economic and social significance. And without them, food-wise we will be in big trouble.”
He said by including bee friendly plants, having a window box to having major plantings of forage can all go some way to help sustain pollinating insect populations.
And while declining populations of bees was a national problem, residents in the ‘Garden of England’ should help lead the way.
He continued: “We want to show the people of Kent that maybe they can do something about it.”
While the action plan was called ‘Plan Bee’ Cllr Holden said the bees were merely the ‘pin-up girls’ and that other pollinators were just as vital.
“We need to learn to love insects, including some that we might not like such as male mosquitoes—which incidentally do not bite, they feed on nectar.”
Paddock Wood county and borough Cllr Sarah Hamilton who was at the meeting, has backed her colleague.
She said: “This is probably one of the most important pieces of work we could ever be doing.
“We sometimes forget nature is a whole complex system from the microbes in the soil to the highest mammals.
“The whole interaction is absolutely vital to our survival.
“Other years it’s just crept in that things have happened which haven’t been noticed.”