Edge Hill University Students’ Union’s redeveloped allotment (The Sanctuary) and Bee Society have been rewarded a national Bees Needs Award by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Green Flag, as a result of their conservation work, and their efforts in promoting ethical bee keeping and pollination practices in the local region.

The work of The Sanctuary and Edge Hill Students’ Union’s Bee Society has been recognised on a national level by DEFRA and Green Flag for helping promote the health of pollinators in the local area.

The Kew Gardens ceremony was attended by Amy Turner, President of Edge Hill Students’ Union’s Bee Society, and Daniel Bocharnikov, Edge Hill Students’ Union’s Vice President for Activities. The pair’s work has been recognised for championing sustainability, and making positive changes to help pollinators in the local area.

The ceremony was also attended by nationally renowned conservationists and MPs, including Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Phil Turvil (Grow Wild Programme Director), Huw Merriman (MP) and Professor Phil Stevenson (Kew Gardens).

Of winning the award, President of Edge Hill University Students’ Union’s Bee Society, Amy Turner, said:

“This is an amazing achievement for me, the bees, the society, and pollinators in general. We think the bees are a wonderful contribution to the society, Students’ Union, and the University. Hopefully, it will be the first of many projects to come with further student support!”

Edge Hill University Students’ Union’s Vice President for Activities, Dan Bocharnikov, said:

“It’s been brilliant working with students with an extraordinary enthusiasm for environmental sustainability! The Sanctuary and Project Bee has the potential to bring students, staff, and the community together and I cannot wait to see this partnership bloom.”

The annual Bees Needs awards is run as a collaboration between Green Flag and DEFRA. Every year, different sites from across the UK are selected and celebrated for making positive changes to pollinators in their local region. This may include encouraging the proliferation of pollinators, increasing pollinator-friendly habitats, and increasing pollinator food sources, among other activities.

The basis for receiving an award is varied, and can include recognising excellence in organisations’ and sites’ dedication to supporting pollinators, innovation and creativity in supporting pollinators, promoting others and raising awareness of pollinating insects, and showing evidence of beneficial impact to pollinators.

Headed up by Edge Hill Students’ Union’s VP Activities, Dan Bocharnikov, The Sanctuary is a brand new outdoor space, aimed at promoting sustainability on campus. Students can attend weekly sessions, allowing them to connect with nature, and to build a greener campus by learning about practises related to conservation.

Connected to The Sanctuary, The Bee Society is one of few local projects promoting ethical beekeeping – centred around maintaining the health of the colony – and to prevent the national decline in numbers of bees. The bee hives, found in The Sanctuary, give students the opportunity to learn skills relating to beekeeping which promotes the Student Union’s wider drive for sustainability and green practices on campus.