Visitors are praising Carraw Bed and Breakfast and the Battlesteads Hotel for their friendliness to bees.
The two accommodation providers in Northumberland National Park have been praised by visitors as “Perfect for Pollinators” and have been received the Northumberland National Park’s Bumblebee Award.
The award is given to accommodation providers in around the National Park who can demonstrate their commitment to planting that attracts bumblebees and other pollinators.
In summer 2011 National Park Biodiversity Ranger Shaun Hackett went to the participating gardens to record the types of pollinating insects present. Bumblebees are highly tuned in to where the best sources of pollen and nectar are readily available and are therefore used as a way of rating a garden for its value to all pollinators. The award goes to a garden recording six species or more.
The award has been particularly well-received by Carraw B&B, which is a four-star, Gold-Award-winning guest house on Hadrian’s Wall. Owners Leigh and Kevin Vigars have been trying to welcome bees for four years but were only able to attract two species. By following advice on upgrading their bee catering with suitable plants, the couple turned their garden around from one of little interest to pollinating insects to a top-flight bee deli deluxe, and have been rewarded with seven species of bumblebee, meaning that Carraw a favourite stopover.
The Battlesteads Hotel was the bees knees with eight different species of bumblebee feasting merrily from its ever-developing garden. Butterflies, day flying moths and a host of hoverflies were present, including one species of hoverfly normally only seen in southern England. This garden, which is an integral part of the business of this environmentally friendly hotel and restaurant, is still maturing and promises to attract increasing numbers of these important insects.
Both accommodation providers are congratulated on their commitment to helping pollinating insects. They are also helping local arable farmers and the National Park to improve its biodiversity, and have proved that a real difference can be made from one season to the next.
Bumblebee Events – 2012
The fifth Honeybee and Bumblebee Free Open Day at Chipchase Walled Garden, near Wark will take place on Saturday, July 7, with owners Joyce Hunt and Alison Jones making the most of their extensive range of beautiful but hardy perennials, especially suited to northern gardens. Hexham bee keepers will be on hand to explain honeybees while National Park Ranger Shaun Hackett will take tours to help people to identify the different bumblebees found in most well-planted gardens and will hand out FREE Bee identifiers to take home. No need to book, just turn up between 10am and 4pm. Details from tel 01434 230083 www.chipchaseplants.co.uk.
Further information about Bumblebees and how to attract them can be found at www.bumblebeeconservation.org.