Conservation Funding

Northumberland National Park has launched its ‘Pollen in Love’ bee conservation project, after receiving funding from Sykes Holiday Cottages.

The project will look to extend the bee season in the National Park – increasing the bee population whilst providing habitats that will allow rare species to thrive and continue to play an important in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

The project will undertake a number of different activities to help to achieve this, including; providing early sources of pollen and nectar, planting goat willow as an early food source, working with local farmers and landowners to increase the number of flower species in hay meadows and verges, as well as enhancing road verges for pollination by planting flowers, including Honeysuckle, once hedges are established.

The Chester-based holiday home rental company, who have been working National Parks UK since 2017, have been pledging funds as well as taking part in volunteering activities to help maintain National Parks across the UK.

Sykes will be funding conservation projects in both Northumberland and Snowdonia as part of the National Park’s Protectors Fund, working through into 2022 to help boost the number of trees and bees across the UK.

One of the Parks haymeadow habitats

Shaun Hackett, Northumberland National Park Ranger said: “We are excited to be working with Sykes Holiday Cottages to launch this important project, which will help to improve the biodiversity within our National Park and support the Authority’s aim to be Net Zero by 2040.

“Northumberland National Park is home to different types of bees, including the rare moss-carder bee, a bright ginger bee which likes clovers and wet meadows. Bees are pollinators and play a critical role in healthy ecosystems, essential for the unique and special landscape in Northumberland National Park, allowing it to thrive and be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “We’re proud to be supporting National Parks UK with tree planting and bee conservation as part of their vital work protecting outdoor spaces and wildlife.

We first partnered with National Parks UK four years ago with the aim of giving back more to the community and the environment, and this year our colleagues are lending a hand to support two significant conservation projects at Northumberland National Park and Snowdonia National Park. We’re excited to continue our partnership and help to make a difference.”

Gordon Watson, Chair of National Parks Partnerships said: “The past year has seen a huge increase in people’s engagement with nature and highlighted the need to care for and protect our National Parks. We can’t thank Sykes enough for their continued support and look forward to seeing the outcomes of the projects that they are funding this year.”