Wildflowers buzzing with bees in Lewes

Wildflowers at Southover Grange Gardens in Lewes are attracting creatures great and small with people as well as bees and insects enjoying the colourful blooms.  

Lewes District Council has prioritised the planting of wildflowers in order to increase local biodversity and encourage pollinator species to flourish. The shortage of bedding plants during Covid-19 has provided even more of an opportunity to expand wildflower planting.  

The council’s ecologist spotted five species of bee and a number of hoverfly species in a stay of just five minutes in the gardens at Southover Grange.  

Councillor Julie Carr, Cabinet member for Recycling, Waste and Open Spaces, said: “The wildflowers have proved really popular with residents and we are delighted with them too.  

“The mix of flowers we have introduced are particularly good for pollinating bees and insects and it’s fantastic to see so many of them in the gardens.   

“I’m delighted the pollinator strategy adopted by the council last summer is having such a positive effect on the wildlife we are now seeing in our parks and open spaces.  We are hearing of species being sighted which have not been seen in the Lewes district for some years.   

“As part of our ongoing programme to introduce more pollinators we will be permanently introducing wildflower mixes into some of the beds that had previously been used for annual bedding at the Grange. Alongside this we will also ensure there are still plenty of bedding plants so the gardens maintain year-round displays.”  

Councillor Matthew Bird, Cabinet member for Sustainability, added: “We are also establishing a new bee bed by planting pollinator-friendly shrubs and perennials in the wall border and adding more bug hotels.  

‘Our programme of planting wildflower areas across the district will continue next year and we will be expanding this to existing grass cut areas.’ 

Meanwhile, the council is currently running a consultation on its Climate and Sustainability Strategy, inviting people to take part by reading its Framework Strategy and completing a survey.  

The strategy will contain key actions and milestones needed to reach the council’s target of net zero carbon by 2030. For more information visit lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/community/climate-change.