OTB Members Calon Wen are continuing their work with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust after their successful Pastures for Pollinators project, which explored how forage resources on dairy farms can be managed to conserve and enhance populations of bumblebees and other pollinators.
The new project, Calon Gwenyn (‘Bee Heart’) takes the measures identified in the Pastures for Pollinators project and will implement pollinator friendly measures. This three-year project will see a small group of Calon Wen farmers each devote 10% of their farm acreage as bee habitat. The farmers will be able to take advice from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and then tailor the advice to their own farms. The Trust will provide each farm with advisory visits, habitat management advice, and will review habitat management options and collect data on pollinators found on the farm. The aim will be to provide up to 2.5 hectares of flowering plant habitat per 100 hectares across each Calon Wen farm.
The picture below shows an unproductive area in a farm yard that has been planted with a wildflower mixture. By using this area in the farm, the farmer has not reduced the grass grown to feed his cows. Calon wen farmers are able to embrace bumblebee conservation, alongside efficient farming methods to produce tasty dairy produce from the Welsh hills and valleys. A win-win in our eyes!