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Clearing the way for conservation

Members of Storrington Conservation Society cleared paths at the village’s Glade area as part of their regular conservation work sessions.

Its next volunteer session is on April 1 at 10am, when members will be clearing banks and the stream at Riverside Walk between Love Lane and Fryern Dell, starting by the bridge in Love Lane.

The speaker at their latest meeting was Alan Knoworthy from the Bumblebee Conservation Society. Alan started his talk by describing the different types of bumblebee found in the UK and how a number of the species are so threatened with extinction that they feature in the UK Red Data Book. He then went on to tell  about the short tailed bumblebee project being undertaken by the society in The Dungeness area.

Following the extinction of this bee the society has been working hard with farmers and landowners to sow suitable flower rich meadows to support new colonies. Once the meadows are well established volunteers travel to southern Sweden to catch emergent queen bees and bring them back to the UK. Once they arrive here the bees spend 2 weeks in quarantine before being released.

While in quarantine Alan has to go out to catch other wild bee species and relieve them of the pollen they are carrying and take it to feed the quarantined bees. This takes many hours to collect and is a real labour of love. This all demonstrates the dedication and hard work put in by the projects volunteers to reintroduce the short tailed bumblebee.

For information about the group please get in touch with Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or look at its website www.storringtonconservation.org.uk/.

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