New orchard planted to keep bees buzzing

The Rowlings family decode a clue in the bee treasure hunt
The Rowlings family decode a clue in the bee treasure hunt
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Schoolchildren have planted thousands of seeds at a wildlife retreat for bees in Kirkham.

Two new meadows will now grow in an orchard beside The Willows Primary School after youngsters sowed 800sqm of seed on Sunday.

Rachel Harrison and Emma Smith

Rachel Harrison and Emma Smith

They were helped by parents and parishioners from St John the Willows church in Victoria Road after a Sunday service to welcome the school’s new reception pupils.

Volunteers from charity Friends of the Earth, which has called on the government to commit to reversing a decline in bee numbers, helped visitors make ‘bee hotels’, enthusiasts from Preston Bee Keepers Association took part in candle rolling, and Fylde MP Mark Menzies also attended.

Youngsters made apple juice with a cider press, took part in quizzes and a ‘worm charming’ competition, and dined on crepes made inside the orchard, which is home to two hives kept in an enclosure built by parents last year.

The Willows’ headteacher Sharon Barnett hopes money raised will buy four new beekeeping suits for pupils to wear as they care for the threatened insects.

This has developed the children’s love of the outdoor area and their respect for the environment

She said: “This has developed the children’s love of the outdoor area and their respect for the environment.

“The children love learning outside and finding out about the environment.

“It was a lovely family day. We very much want to create family activites we can enjoy together and it was a great day for everybody.

“We have two beekeeping suits and we would love to have another four if we can. The next stage is to build a pond and to buy some chickens. They are our next two projects.”

Joey Marchese makes apple juice

Joey Marchese makes apple juice

Julie Marchess, 39, of Church Road, Weeton, went on a beekeeping course so she can help out at the school.

Julie, whose son Joey, 11, went to the school, said: “The school is brilliant and you can go to the headteacher with anything at all.

“The difference in the children has been phenomenal. It’s amazing.”

Julie Marchese with Ryan and Logan Nind

Julie Marchese with Ryan and Logan Nind

Jack Holden meets queen bee Nicola Robinson

Jack Holden meets queen bee Nicola Robinson