Bee Friendly scheme for pollinators in Wales is world first

Friends of the Earth Cymru has joined the Welsh government to launch a unique initiative to protect bees and other pollinators in Wales.
  Published:  15 Aug 2017    |      1 minute read

Bee Friendly, or Caru Gwenyn in Welsh, is a new Wales-wide accreditation scheme where communities, schools, universities and businesses can achieve 'Bee Friendly' status.

It is likely to be the first such scheme of its kind in the world to combat bee decline.

Cliff mason bee - Osmia xanthomelana
Osmia xanthomelana
Credit: Nicholas J. Vereecken

What is Caru Gwenyn?

“Participating groups complete “tasks” under the headings habitat, forage, pesticides and community involvement,” explains Bleddyn Lake of Friends of the Earth Cymru.

"We are hoping that it will stimulate far more activism, far more interest in pollinators and be a nice way in to looking at local nature for many more people.”

While the focus of the campaign encourages people to get involved in an enjoyable way, there is a serious message too: pollinators are in declineLesley Griffiths, environment secretary, Welsh government

The scheme is a new initiative from the Pollinator Taskforce. It was set up following the successful launch of the Welsh government’s Action Plan for Pollinators – itself a result of campaigning by Friends of the Earth supporters and other groups.

“I am pleased to offer my support to the launch of Bee Friendly,” say Lesley Griffiths, Welsh government Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs.

“While the focus of the campaign is very much on encouraging people to get involved in an enjoyable way there is a serious message too: pollinators are in decline and this risks our capacity to produce food, timber and fibre.”

The initiative includes a network of regional bee champions to help participating groups plan their projects.

Future years will see bronze, silver and gold standards introduced to keep Wales buzzing.

Bumblebee on clover flower in Wales
Bumblebee on clover flower in Wales
Credit: Angela Rumble