Action group gives bees safe haven at Titchfield Haven nature reserve

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VOLUNTEERS have done their bit to ensure the survival of bees.

Around 10 members of Gosport and Fareham Friends of the Earth made a wildflower habitat – a ‘bee world’ – at Titchfield Haven on Saturday.

Member Tim Pratt, 37, of Redlands Lane, in Fareham, said bees are vital to the food supply and the economy.

He said: ‘The struggles that beekeepers have been having with honey bee colonies have been pretty well documented.

‘But it is a much wider issue than that [of the honey bee].

‘There are over 250 species of bees in the UK – it’s them that are affected – it’s far more than just the honey bees we need to be worrying about.

‘It’s important to do this, partly to start replacing lost habitats and it’s also about raising awareness.’

Tim and Friends of the Earth have warned that bees are needed for pollination and losing them could cost the country billions of pounds.

Saturday saw local people tackle the problem, with help from Gosport’s MP Caroline Dinenage.

Volunteers first had to prepare the site, digging up ground and clearing the site of old roots.

The team then had to sow the seeds of the bee world, which will be made up of wildflowers.

With some further work already planned to check up on the progress of the habitat, Tim and the group are hoping their work on Saturday has been successful.

Tim added: ‘The idea is that the bee worlds are springing up across the country to provide vital breathing space and habitats for bees.

‘There are lots of threats facing bees at the moment and one of those is habitats, so we’re trying to do something about that.’

As the campaign was originally started last year, groups across the country had been urged to make 60 of the habitats like the one at Titchfield Haven.

But due to the success of the campaign, the bee world created on Saturday was the 62nd nationally.

Ms Dinenage praised the work of the volunteers.

She said: ‘Britain’s declining bee population is extremely concerning.

‘It will have a considerable impact on our farming sector and the quality of our beautiful countryside.

‘Local action is vital and I am delighted to be supporting Gosport and Fareham Friends of the Earth who are doing their best to help our bees.’