Life's a buzz for local Staffordshire 'bee-ches'

18 September 2019

It’s not only the British public that have been making the most of the hot weather this year. A team from Amey, the company that delivers services on behalf of Severn Trent and Staffordshire County Council, has been creating bee beaches (referred to as 'bee-ches') to help prevent the decline of the British solitary bee and wasp population.

30 Amey employees recently helped at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Highgate Common in Stourbridge, creating bee beaches and bracken bashing. Over two days, the team cleared and dug out earth to create beaches for the 140 different species that can be found nesting in the ground, as well as helping to inhabit the growth of invasive bracken to allow heathland species to flourish.

According to a BBC news article*, a third of British wild bees are in decline. And if the trend continues, some species will be lost from Britain altogether. Teams from Amey used their Community Involvement Days (every employee at Amey has one paid day of leave a year to support a community initiative of their choice) to help Staffordshire Wildlife Trust conserve the ancient lowland heath.

Anu Gibson, Head of Customer Experience, Amey, said: "The work we carry out across the region - keeping sewers free from blockages and repairing roads - already has a big impact on the communities and the environment in which we work. It’s therefore great that we can support local charities and initiatives and help enhance the local natural environment to protect it for future generations.”

Hayley Dorrington, Senior Heathlands Officer, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust said: “Highgate Common is a small remnant of ancient lowland heath which would have linked to Cannock chase. It is a fantastic haven for wildlife. However, since the 1800's the UK has lost 80% of its open heathland due to changes of land use, urbanisation and climate change. It is now rarer than rainforest. It is great to have groups like Amey to help us with tasks, like bracken bashing, and creating the bare earth for the rare solitary bees and wasps we have at Highgate Common.”