“The Beehive Garden group was formed following on from the projects we worked on as part of the Honiton Transition Town group.
In 2014 we were offered the chance to take on a corner of the car park to develop if for wildlife and people to enjoy. We have gradually been introducing plants for pollinators which have attracted bees and butterflies as well as insects such as hoverflies, ladybirds and shieldbugs. The bug hotel and compost heap we created provide further areas for these creatures to live; for instance, we have found slow worms living in the warmth of the compost.
Over the last three years, we were fortunate enough to be one of the groups to gain support from the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project. Part of this included a visit from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust when the planting of Spring bulbs and lavenders was suggested after a site visit. The Natural Futures project was able to fund these as well as another picnic bench so that visitors can sit and enjoy the garden we have created.
One evening while I was weeding around the lavenders I spotted a young hedgehog. It is hoped that this year we will be able to further enhance the Beehive Garden for hedgehogs which have significantly declined in numbers in recent years.
Having improved the environment for insects it would now be interesting to find out what bats are passing through the garden at night. The Beehive is actually a monitoring centre for the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project. If anyone is interested they can borrow a bat detector for four days to record what species are flying in their area. I will bring along some information to show at our stand at the Festival of Imagination on Saturday 28th April.
If you would like to join our Beehive gardeners please leave a message at the box office/reception – it is not a huge commitment just to do a bit when you can or when you fancy.”