15 November 2016

Defra Minister Lord Gardiner presented Chesterfield College with a Bees Needs award for one of the best youth projects in the UK designed to create bee friendly environments yesterday.

The Bees’ Needs Champions Awards, hosted at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, brought together 30 champions to celebrate bee-friendly initiatives, from playgrounds to parks and farms to famous shopping streets.  The award, presented to Chesterfield College, recognised the importance of the work a group of foundation studies students did with Chesterfield Borough Council’s Park Development Officer, Sarah Poulton at Eastwood Park in Hasland earlier this year.

The students spent several weeks helping to make the community garden a blooming lovely place to be for the local community and local wildlife.Together with Sarah, they worked on looking after the garden by weeding, composting, maintaining gardening plots, sowing seeds and growing their own vegetables as well as preparing the area to grow wildflowers.

They also created some artwork for the garden and the park that helped to raise awareness about the importance of UK native wild flowers and plants. They worked with a local artist after they successfully applied for funding from Grow Wild, who inspire communities, to come together to transform local spaces, by sowing, growing and enjoying native wild flowers.

Speaking ahead of the Bees’ Needs Champions Awards, Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity Lord Gardiner said:

“Pollinators are essential for food production and the environment. The Bees’ Needs champions show us how to keep our pollinators happy and healthy all year round, and their efforts are an inspiration for us all. They show that whether you have access to acres of land or just a window box, everyone can play a part in helping these vital insects thrive.”

Kerrie Robertson, Student Enrichment Co-ordinator at Chesterfield College collected the award at the celebration event at Kew. She said:

“We are so proud that the work the students did on this project has been recognised by DEFRA. It is thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of Sarah and Chesterfield Borough Council that the students were given this opportunity to get involved in a project that not only benefits the local community but also gave them different and new experiences. Developing these kinds of skills ignites a passion in students that lasts a lifetime or gives them additional skills that are useful in everyday life.”

Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing added:

“One of the council’s key priorities is improving the quality of life for local people and we’re proud that our staff and the borough’s parks have played a part in helping local young people in developing a sustainable environment.”

Chesterfield College is a highly successful and vibrant college based in North Derbyshire with excellent pass rates and high student success levels.

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