Wildflowers for wildlife project – Bron Afon and Bee World Project from Friends of the Earth
“Bron Afon – It’s a Small – “Bee World” 2014
Bron Afon – a social enterprise established for Torfaen Council tenants – created four “Bee Worlds” with the help of MD – Chris Baker’s and Phoenix Amenity Supplies. After a site visit – they sowed Perennial Wildflower Seed Mixture in the first year. This work then resulted in an award from “Friends of the Earth”.
Bron Afon was in the process of establishing a number of similar sites around the housing stock based upon the success of the “Bee Worlds” Project. Experimentation was underway with Phoenix Amenity wildflower mixtures using Phoenix’s Hardy Annual Wildflower Mix to create a more dynamic display of wildflowers.”
More than 2 years ago we were approached at Phoenix Amenity Supplies by Steve Caddy from a community based organisation called Bron Afon, to advise them on creating a wildflower meadow. After a visit to the site from Chris Baker MD of Phoenix Amenity Supplies, it was decided to use the Phoenix Amenity Perennial Wildflower Seed Mixture as a basis for the project. Chris advised them that this would be a long term project which would see changes through the seasons and from year to year.
After the initial success of the project – it earned an award from Friends of the Earth as a Bee World Site – and with the feedback from local residents and volunteers, it was decided at the start of the second year to sow Phoenix Amenity Hardy Annuals seed mixture. This was thought to add more colour and variety to the meadow area.
Now with 9 Bee World Sites created since the start, Bron Afon are developing their expertise in sowing and mowing wildflower meadows much to the delight of the local residents, the pollinating insects and to the local wildlife that visit the sites. This year will see an increase in the more than 22,000 square metres of wildflowers that have been sown so far. Steve Caddy, presently the Environment Manager for Bron Afon, is consulting with more residents to create more Bee World sites and is recruiting from local volunteers to develop the project further.
Steve has commented:
“After mowing back the areas last October, we will be looking at what has re-seeded and filling in the gaps on the existing wildflower meadows. We will also sow more areas to create a balance between what the residents have expressed a desire to see more of – they want a more colourful and long lasting display – and what should help the insects and wildlife to thrive.”
Steve is also in consultation with other local authorities and different conservation groups to re-create the success he has achieved in Torfaen in the surrounding locality.Steve is keen to see the project replicated elsewhere and has documented details of the project on YouTube. He has told Phoenix Amenity Supplies:
“Anyone interested in developing their own Bee World Site can view the project for themselves on YouTube – a further video is being launched shortly about the project.”
We wish him every success for the future.