Bee-lieve in World Environment Day
With the ambition of creating central London’s greenest new place to live, Elephant Park has always supported and encouraged biodiversity. That’s why, with World Environment Day’s focus on air pollution, we’re celebrating the mighty bee and explaining why we should look after these plucky pollinators.
Bees are a crucial part of the global ecosystem, and World Environment Day (5 June) is helping to draw attention to the importance of preserving bees and other pollinators. It also focuses on educating communities on the importance of bees for humanity as a whole and how we can take concrete action to preserve and protect them from air pollution.
Elephant Park is already working on protecting bees in the community and helping them to flourish. Solitary bees have recently begun using the ‘invertebrate hotel’, set up within the park. It is hoped that they will settle here across the summer, continuing to thrive within Elephant and Castle, helping to pollinate and boost the local ecosystem.
Bees play an essential role in ensuring the UK has a steady food supply, yet, shockingly, over the past 20 years, their numbers have declined by 50 per cent. At first thought, you wouldn’t regard cities as the ideal environment for bees. However, researchers from the University of Bristol have discovered that bees and other pollinating insects do just as well in cities as they do on farms and in nature reserves.
Worldwide, the extinction of bees could have a devastating impact. Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations suggests a third of all food produced depends on pollination. Protecting bees, especially by cutting down on the causes of air pollution, will contribute to ensuring a stable food chain and income for farmers across the world.
As well as the invertebrate hotel, Elephant Park is home to a 0.4 hectare green park, which opened in 2017. It features mature trees retained from the original Elephant and Castle estate, as well as specially planted trees, shrubs and flowers that are suitable for the urban environment and grow in that particular type of soil.
It is hoped that this new green space for central London will provide bees with a suitable habitat as well as other local wildlife.
Elephant Park soon won’t just be a thriving community for people, but bees and other precious pollinators too!