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Winter blooms to support pollinators in Copeland

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MORE than 45,000 bulbs were planted in Whitehaven last week to support pollination across West Cumbria.

A team of Copeland Council staff and volunteers spent six hours planting 37,000 native bluebells and 9,000 daffodils on Mirehouse Road and Meadow Road, Mirehouse. 

The Copeland Council team included gardeners, an open spaces officer and the borough’s ranger. Two apprentices also took part in the sessions, gaining valuable skills and experience whilst working towards their qualification.

The work is part of the £1.6 million ‘Get Cumbria Buzzing’ project which aims to tackle a decline in bees and other pollinators.

Copeland Council, a partner in the three-year project, has received £60,000 to create havens for insects spanning almost 10,000 square metres.

The council earmarked six sites in the Whitehaven and Distington area which will provide the natural habitats needed to ensure local wildlife thrives. These are areas in, or near to, Castle Park, Trinity Gardens, Pow Beck, Mirehouse, Whitehaven Cemetery (all in Whitehaven) and Distington Hall Gardens.

Together they will create a series of pollinator friendly stepping stones across Whitehaven and Distington. This will help increase connectivity, enabling insects and other wildlife to move more freely throughout the area and across North West Cumbria.

Copeland Council worked with two partners on the project – Cumbria Wildlife Trust and National Trust - to organise bulb-planting sessions for the first phase of the project.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “This is a fantastic example of partnership working at its best.

“The Get Cumbria Buzzing project will benefit our borough for years to come and I’m delighted that this is just the start of the transformation of some of our green spaces and roadside verges.

“The project not only encourages wildlife to flourish in Copeland but will also improve the visual aspect of some areas for all to enjoy.

“I’d like to commend the team for battling the elements and spending hours in the pouring rain planting tens of thousands of bulbs to ensure we’re playing our part. They are a real credit to our organisation and our borough. I’d also like to give special mention to volunteers Mark Pattinson and Paul Guise for their contributions.”

Get Cumbria Buzzing in North West Cumbria aims to get parks, school grounds and other green spaces around Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport buzzing with bees and pollinators thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The ground-breaking project will see Cumbria Local Nature Partnership work with Highways England and Cumbria Wildlife Trust to get local people buzzing with activity to boost numbers of bumblebees and other wild pollinators and halt their decline.

You can find out more about the Get Cumbria Buzzing project at