World Bee Day: How pollinators are buzzing at Severn Trent sites

20th May 2024

They are the vital pollinators who are buzzing at Severn Trent sites thanks to the creation of biodiversity habitats, including stunning wildlife meadows and flower beds.

And today the water company has added its support to World Bee Day, which celebrates everything about the pollen-loving insect.

There are around 250 species of bees in the UK who, along with other pollinators, help support everything from crop production to biodiversity and, indirectly, water quality.

Yet they have been at threat in recent decades from habitat loss caused by increasing urbanisation of our countryside, as well as farming pesticides.

Bryony Harrison, Senior Biodiversity Project Manager at Severn Trent, said: “Pollinators like bees are vitally important for the ecosystem because they are essential for the life cycle of almost all flowering plants.

“We do a lot of work on our own land, including with conservation groups like BugLife, to help them thrive. It’s a wonderful and positive part of the job.”

Our biodiversity teams also work with farmers across the region to help reduce pesticides through our STEPS grants (Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme).

Herefordshire farmer Matthew Duggan not only developed his own natural pesticide alternative, but he’s also received Severn Trent funding for a Closed Transfer System (CTS) for crop spraying, which helps further minimise any impacts on nature. He said: “We want to reduce our reliance on inputs and help build natural defences in our crops.”

Severn Trent has helped fund flower-rich mini-meadows on farmlands across the region, which become a hot-spot for the bees.

And we previously also introduced closely managed honeybee populations at our sites including reservoirs at Draycote in Warwickshire, Tittesworth in Staffordshire and at Stanton Harold in Derbyshire.

An un-bee-lievable partnership with Buglife is also underway to help the little creatures further. Their Get the Marches Buzzing Project aims to restore 63 hectares of flower-rich habitat in Shropshire and North Herefordshire to provide pollen and nectar throughout the seasons.

“We know that our land supports a huge range of important pollinators including bees,” said Bryony, who is part of a passionate biodiversity team at Severn Trent.

“Our funding of the Buglife project is informed by its ‘B-Lines’ – insect pathways which are really important connectivity corridors.

“So far we have funded over 20ha of biodiversity interventions for pollinators on third party land through the Buglife partnership.”

She added: “Bees are vital to our ecosystem, they are classed as a keystone species. If we did not have bees, there would not be a lot else going on.”