We catch up with the Pollinator Promise Team, who have enlisted everyone from parents to Pfizer in their bid to make their local area a better place for pollinating insects.
Earlier this year a group of enterprising and creative Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils from St Alban's Primary School in Hampshire won the Polli:Nation Project’s ‘Art with a Message’ competition for their ‘Pollinator Promise’ campaign. Watch the Pollinator Promise team's winning video
The student-led campaign group has been securing pledges from pupils, parents, teachers and members of their local community to put aside a one by one metre plot to grow plants that provide food and shelter for pollinating insects. They’ve even developed a catchy slogan: “Metre by metre let people know, metre by metre let pollinators grow!”
Over the last few months the group have generated a hive of activity, supporting members of their school and local community by providing seeds harvested from plants at the school, and encouraging everyone who signed up to send in updates and photos of their progress.
Keeping their promises
Here are some of the stories that the Pollinator Promise team have shared with us.
Darcy has been promoting Pollinator Promise at school and leads by example. She grew the fruit she is holding.
Brother and sister, Tom and Ella, planted a wide variety of flowers including delphiniums, lupins, stocks and poppies. The two photos show the progress their patch has made over the summer.
Here are Beatrice (Year 4) & Samuel’s (Year 2) efforts to help encourage pollinators: Four beds with a variety of pollinator friendly herbs - lavender, rosemary, thyme & hissop, as well as sweet peas and vegetables.
Sam in reception started his patch in February and has been working on it steadily all summer. He has now decided to share the patch’s upkeep with his brother William. They have also created a pond with Daddy and Grandad. They are hoping to attract some hoverflies and frogs!
St Albans Teacher Miss Julie Newman, who helps to support the Pollinator Promise students, says: “You don’t need an expensive camera to take photos of bees. These buff tailed bumblebees were happily foraging in my pollinator patch and were captured with a mobile phone camera. They are simply beautiful creatures!"
A visit to Pfizer
In June the Pollinator Promise team met with Jane Finch from biopharmaceutical company Pfizer, who have an office close to the school. The team provided advice on how to create a pollinator friendly outdoor space for Pfizer staff. Catie and Olivia from the Pollinator Promise team wrote:
“Jane showed us where they thought it would be an ideal area to plant and relax in the warming sun. We suggested some suitable pollinator friendly flowers. Jane really liked the idea of growing edible plants like nasturtiums, strawberries and thornless blackberries. We had some thoughts on what to grow on the trellis; here are just a few of our ideas – clematis, honeysuckle and jasmine. Jane was really kind and provided an amazing tour around their garden area. We really enjoyed our time at Pfizer and are excited about being involved in the future plans.”
Imogen and a pollinator pal. Zoe and Matthew with sunflower seedlings.
Take the Pollinator Promise!
If you'd like to get involved or find out more about the Pollinator Promise, please get in touch with the team at Pollination1@st-albans.hants.sch.uk. They are currently on holiday for the summer but will get back to you as soon as they can.
You can also learn about pollinators in your garden or school grounds by taking part in the Polli:nation survey.