Planting project giving pollinators a local boost

​Volunteers from the SSEN/Balfour Beatty team with Andover pupils.​Volunteers from the SSEN/Balfour Beatty team with Andover pupils.
​Volunteers from the SSEN/Balfour Beatty team with Andover pupils.
Two Angus communities are all abuzz due to a planting project which is giving pollinating insects a helping hand.

The two new ‘bee-beds’ have been planted in Edzell and Brechin thanks to a partnership between electricity company SSEN Transmission, Balfour Beatty, Angus Council and biodiversity conservation charity RePollinate.

The ‘bee beds’ have been planted to encourage a range of pollinators – including butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, flies, beetles and birds – to find food, helping to promote biodiversity and encourage a thriving ecosystem.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Almost 450 plants have been planted across the two locations, which have been carefully selected to suit the local environments and provide the best food and habitat for pollinators.

This includes a rich mix of perennial cottage garden plants such as geraniums and irises, as well as native wildflowers such as primrose, bloody cranesbill, bugle and water avens.

Pupils from Edzell Primary School and Andover Primary School in Brechin also got involved, taking great care to dig holes for the new plants in the displays.

RePollinate is an organisation which sets out to help conserve and improve prospects for the UK’s pollinators, which are facing many challenges including the loss of habitats, pesticides and the effects of climate change. Their aim is to help pollinators by working with organisations and communities through programmes like their Bed for Bees initiative, which involves establishing nectar-rich plantings to support the UK’s pollinators help encourage insect and bird species to thrive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And with World Environment Day this week, the bee bed initiative illustrates how action at local level can be taken to help look after the area’s biodiversity and wildlife.

SSEN Transmission and Balfour Beatty project teams, working on the East Coast 400kV overhead line project, approached RePollinate to help them design the bee beds in Brechin and Edzell, and the locations were chosen in conjunction with Angus Council – one in front of Brechin Library and the other involving revamping an existing flower bed at the entrance to the park at Edzell Muir.

Declan Muir, SSEN Transmission project manager, said: “Looking after the environment and promoting biodiversity is a key part of all of our projects, and as a team we were keen to work with the local community to leave a positive environmental legacy as part of our overhead line upgrade project.

“We’re really pleased to be involved in the new bee beds here at Brechin and Edzell, and it was fantastic having some of the local school pupils join us to help planting too.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“They’ve been learning about the natural environment as part of a school project and were all very enthusiastic and had lots to say about bees!”

Nick Trull, RePollinate project manager, added: “The projects in Edzell and Brechin presented two very different planting environments and a requirement for distinct planting styles, varying in their formality.

“This has therefore been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the versatility of the Beds for Bees approach.”

Funding for the beds was provided by the SSEN project team.

Andrew Davison, Senior Project Manager at Balfour Beatty said: “Balfour Beatty is delighted to support this RePollinate initiative. We have been delivering community projects in collaboration with SSEN Transmission and the people of Angus for a number of years, so to be able to enhance this work by creating a bee bed is fantastic.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Bringing together local authorities, local schools and biodiversity experts to create a bespoke habitat for pollinators in Edzell is reflective of the positive legacy that Balfour Beatty aims to leave for our people and our planet.”

Director of Infrastructure and Environment for Angus Council, Graeme Dailly, added: "This is an important initiative to ensure the ongoing support of biodiversity in Angus.

"By creating these bee-friendly habitats, we are not only enhancing the beauty of our community but also playing a crucial role in promoting biodiversity and environmental health, ensuring a sustainable future for both our local ecosystem and agriculture."

SSEN Transmission is committed to delivering a “greener grid”, focusing on habitat restoration and creating biodiversity growth across the network in the north of Scotland. SSEN Transmission is delivering 10% Biodiversity Net Gain on all new sites, working to actively improve sites for the benefit of local communities, flora and fauna.