Local school pupils show they are Wild About Gardens

Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's Leisure & Community Development Committee,  pictured with pupils from Beechlawn School at the newly created biodiversity area.
Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's Leisure & Community Development Committee, pictured with pupils from Beechlawn School at the newly created biodiversity area.

Beechlawn School and Downshire Primary School in Hillsborough were recently announced as joint schools’ winner of this year’s Wild About Gardens photographic competition, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts.

Pupils from the two schools were inspired by the theme of ‘Bee Creative in the Garden’.

Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's Leisure & Community Development Committee,  pictured with pupils from Downshire Primary School at the newly created biodiversity area.

Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's Leisure & Community Development Committee, pictured with pupils from Downshire Primary School at the newly created biodiversity area.

The Biodiversity Officer and grounds maintenance team from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council worked closely with the two schools during Britain in Bloom, helping them to create their very own biodiversity area to make it more wildlife-friendly and attractive to bees.

Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of the council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee, recently visited the newly created biodiversity area.

“I am delighted to see what the children from Beechlawn School and Downshire Primary School have achieved with assistance from the council,” he said. “Their commitment to biodiversity has paid off with the RHS recognising and rewarding their efforts.

“Winning this prize is a great boost for the schools and demonstrates what can be achieved by working together and using the council’s expertise to guide them. Well done to everyone involved and keep up the great work.”

This year’s focus was on wild bees, working to raise awareness of the many bumblebees and solitary bees in the UK, and the ways in which we can help them in our gardens and green spaces.

Following participation in the council’s biodiversity workshop one class from Beechlawn School and Downshire Primary School worked together to create their area, complete with a giant bug hotel, hedgehog home and green wall with edible herbs. The pupils used creative ways of planting edible herbs into two reused pallets and using leaf compost produced using a brown bin waste.

The prizes included a Wildlife Trusts goody bag, a specialist solitary bee box designed for observation, and a special bee meadow seed kit - all aimed at further developing their biodiversity activities.

To download the Wild About Gardens Wild Bee Action Kit visit www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk/Downloads

To find out how to do your bit for biodiversity visit www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/things-to-do/parks-and-open-spaces/biodiversity