OVER 230 applicants from across Wales applied for free National Garden Centre vouchers as part of Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘Have a Wild Weekend for Wales’ campaign.

Funded by Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales and the proceeds from the single-use carrier bag charge, the aim of the weekend-long campaign was to encourage people to improve food sources and natural habitat for pollinators in Wales.

Volunteers from Nightingale Community Garden got back to nature and gave bees and other pollinating insects a helping hand in Dinas Powys. They were successful in applying for £100 of National Garden Centre vouchers which they then used to buy nesting boxes for pollinating insects, plants and seeds of nectar-rich plants, large pots and compost.

During Wild Weekend they put up bee hotels and started the cultivation of a new ‘wildlife border’ in the garden. Stephen Nottingham, a volunteer at Nightingale Community Garden said: “The Community Garden in Dinas Powys was established last year, on what was a long-abandoned play area, and it officially opened last September. There are around 30 enthusiastic plot-holders and we hope to see wider community involvement this year. ‘Wild Weekend’ has enabled us to advance our goal of encouraging beneficial wildlife into the garden.”

Councillor Keith Hatton added: “Nightingale Community Garden was established to allow the community to come together to share food growing ideas and raise awareness of ecological and environmental issues by providing suitable habitats for a range of wildlife. This valued support will allow the community gardeners the opportunity to protect threatened insect pollinators, such as honey and bumble bees, hoverflies and butterflies by creating habitats and planting pollinator friendly plants. By improving their habitat the gardeners too will benefit by increased crop yields.”

Lesley Jones, chief executive of Keep Wales Tidy, said: “I am delighted that so many groups across Wales got involved to help our pollinators and their natural environment. They have planted new flowering plants to attract our bees and butterflies as well as giving existing habitats a helping hand. Keep Wales Tidy would like to thank the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales for all their support, ensuring that the ‘Wild Weekend for Wales’ has been a great success for people across Wales.”

For more information on improving pollinator conditions in your area, or to get involved with volunteering and fundraising for Keep Wales Tidy e-mail tidy.towns@keepwalestidy.org or visit the website www.keepwalestidy.org.