Cumbria Crack

Kendal schoolchildren are busy little bees

[S]choolchildren have begun a scientific study to discover how to help pollinating insects to survive.

Their first task is to identify and record as many plants and wildflowers as possible in a grassy area of land just off the canal towpath in Kendal.

Nine year-old Fearne Sharpe and her friends from Castle Park School got a big surprise.

“At first we thought it was all just grass and weeds. When we looked more closely and found Clover, then some Ribwort and all sort of things we’d never even heard of before,” said Fearne.

Over the next three years local schools and community groups will help to plant a carefully chosen range of other wildflowers to see what impact it has on pollinating insects.

Eventually it’s hoped the Kendal Pollinator Project will help to maintain and improve the habitat of pollinating insects.

South Lakeland District Council is one of the partners in the project which is being managed by South Lakes Action on Climate Change and funded by Kendal Town Council and The Ernest Cook Trust, one of the country’s leading outdoor learning charities.

Councillor Phil Walker said: “It’s great to see children outside the classroom learning about nature and helping to carry out a very important project.

“Pollinating insects play an important role in both our food production and in the survival of our wildflowers and it is important that we understand how best to protect their habitat and help them to thrive.”

The charity South Lakes Action on Climate Change says the scientific study will help to investigate the possibility of managing grassland areas differently in order to benefit pollinating insects.

Teacher Eric Pye from Castle Park School said: “The children really enjoyed themselves and it is nice that there will be some continuity in this project. Each year different children will take part and get to know a little bit more about where they live and what’s out there.”

Youngsters from Stramongate School and Kendal Sea Cadets are also among those taking part in the Kendal Pollinator Project.

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