Working with a variety of organisations and residents, the aim is for Arundel to be declared ‘The UK’s First Bee Friendly Town’.
There are currently three main objectives.
Firstly, it will try on a local level to address the alarming decline in the number of pollinators in general and bees in particular over the last few years. While the reasons for this decline are still not totally understood – the use of insecticides is suspected in playing a large part but there are almost certainly other factors – the potential results of this decline are very clear. It has been cal-culated that approximately a third of the food we eat will have been the end result of a process beginning with pollination. The less pollinators we have – the more problems we will have getting enough food.
Secondly, media coverage of the project will raise the profile of Arundel to the general public and therefore increase visitor numbers. Without visitors coming to the town and spending money, many of Arundel’s retailers would struggle to survive. With the environment at the forefront of many current news stories, a successful project should receive considerable media coverage.
Thirdly, it is hoped that it will create a genuine community project that will bring a wide range of residents together to create something that will benefit us all. In order to achieve this – the title would be awarded by the charity The Bee Friendly Trust – some initial sub-projects have been identified through a succession of meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals who have expressed an enthusiastic interest in being involved. These sub-projects will sit collectively under the title of The Arundel Bee Project. Amongst those who have participated so far are Arundel Town Council, Arun District Council, West Sussex Coun-ty Council, The Norfolk Estate, The Angmering Estate, Arundel Castle, The South Downs National Park, DEFRA, The Bee Friendly Trust, Ford Prison, Arundel Scouts, Arundel Gardens Association and The British Beekeepers Association. It is anticipated that other organisations will become involved as the project develops. However, it must be stressed that this is very much a commu-nity project, where individuals and groups are encouraged to come forward with ideas, suggestions and offers of help.