For more info contact: beesbugs@ssb.org.uk

Click here to access SSB Project management documents

Click here to access relevant SSB Policy documents’

 

The UK ranks 191 out of 218 countries for Biodiversity Intactness (State of Nature Report 2016). It’s not just rare species that are in trouble, the abundance of common species are falling. Nature needs our help and this project will pool the resources, knowledge, land and labour in the Parish of South Brent to come to the rescue.

 

What are we doing?

We have successfully established the wildflower verge along Exeter Road and the orchard at the Health Centre in 2019. The group is focussing on the following projects:

– Working with the Parish Council on the recommendations of the ‘Vision 2020 report’ to enhance green spaces across the village

– Setting up a wildlife gardening group

– Working with St Petroc’s to allow some of the churchyard to being more wildlife friendly

– Working with South West Water to scythe the meadow at the Marsh and increase biodiversity

– Working with private landowners to establish orchards and wildflower meadows where possible

 

Wildflower meadow preparation day 16th February 2019

This is what the site looked like in July 2019

The story so far …

We  launched the project in 2019, to create a traditional orchard using local fruit tree varieties, under sown with local native wildflowers on land at South Brent Health Centre. Local community volunteers received training in traditional management methods – pruning, scything, pressing. The orchard has become known as the ‘Apple a day’ orchard’ and we work with the Health centre to record health outcomes for participants. The Doctors will signpost the project to patients where appropriate. Whilst the proposed orchard is on private land, it will be accessible to members of the public outside of surgery hours (after 6pm on weekdays, after 12 noon on Saturdays and all day Sunday). The Doctors have indicated that they are very happy to have this traditional orchard working in this way at the Health Centre.

 

Orchard planting day 16th February 2019

 

This is what the site looked like in July 2019

Tuesday 27th August – ‘A few of the group practised the traditional art of scything the wildflowers in the Health Centre Orchard (aka the Apple a Day Orchard). Wildflower seeds were harvested to use on other sites and the green hay was composted’

Sharing resources and knowledge

We are building capacity in a network of mentors who have sufficient knowledge and confidence to provide advice to other landowners/householders who may wish to create wildflower meadows at home from window boxes to meadows.

 

Communication

People are encouraged to take photos and report sightings. Photos will be posted on the Sustainable South Brent facebook page. An annual report summarising the impact the project will be produced.

 

Skills and Learning

Ongoing traditional management of the habitats, increased knowledge in the community of local environmental issues, ongoing identification workshops/bug hunts, wild flower seed collection and cultivation, fruit tree grafting/pruning sessions.

 

Partners

  • Kew Gardens
  • South Brent Health Centre
  • Devon County Council
  • South Brent Parish Council
  • Brent Birders
  • Brent Island Trust
  • South Brent Primary
  • Devon Wildlife Trust
  • Orchard Link
  • Moor Meadows

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Past Events › Brent Bees Bugs & Butterflies (4Bs)

June 2019

Insect Identification Workshops

18 June, 2019 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm BST
St Petrocs Churchyard South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

Insect Identification Workshops with Dartmoor naturalist John Walters. SSB’s 4Bs project (Brent Bees Bugs & Butterflies) has teamed up with Moor Meadows to hold two Identification workshops (Wild Flowers on 6 June and Insects on 18 June). Locations and times are the same on each day: 10am -12:30pm – Holy Trinity Churchyard, Buckfastleigh 1.30 – 4pm – St Petroc’s, South Brent On this workshop you’ll spend a relaxed few hours outdoors with John Walters identifying the insects that live in…

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August 2019

Seed Harvesting for Brent Bees Bugs and Butterflies

17 August, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm BST
Apple a Day Orchard (Health Centre) South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

Jeremy Sabel says "The weather gods have promised me that it will be dry tomorrow so please come and join me for some seed harvesting in the Apple a Day Orchard (Health Centre) at 2pm." "Seed harvesting is a really fun/mindful activity. Nature is prolific yet buying seeds can be expensive. We will harvest as many seeds as possible with a view to sowing more again this winter at the orchard and in other locations across the parish. Bring scissors…

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Scything Workshop in the ‘Apple a Day’ orchard at the Health Centre

27 August, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm BST
Apple a Day Orchard (Health Centre) South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

Tuesday 27 August 2019: Scything Workshop at 6pm in the new ‘Apple a Day’ orchard at South Brent Health Centre. Join Jeremy Sabel, Harry Jennings and Mike Ingram for an evening of scything. No previous experience necessary. Children will only be allowed to observe. No dogs please. Bring shears, sickles, scythes, rakes and dumpy bags if you have them. There may also be more wildflower seeds to harvest for sowing next season, so bring paper bags and scissors if you…

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September 2019

‘Life on the Verge’ – how to create and manage wildlife-friendly verges, parks and gardens

12 September, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm BST
Buckfastleigh Town Hall, 34, Bossell Road
Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ10 0DD United Kingdom
+ Google Map

‘Life on the Verge’ at 6.30pm in Buckfastleigh Town Hall. A talk by Donna Cox (Moor Meadows) and John Walters (Devon based naturalist, ecologist artist and wild life champion) on how to create and manage wildlife-friendly verges, parks and gardens.      

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‘Dancing with Bees’ – the Secret world of wild bees and other pollinators – two talks

14 September, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm BST
Ashburton Community Arts Centre South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

‘Dancing with Bees’ – A journey back to nature and the secret world of wild bees and other pollinators - at 7.30pm in Ashburton Arts Centre. Two fascinating talks by Brigit Strawbridge Howard (bee advocate, wildlife gardener and author) and John Walters (Devon based naturalist, ecologist artist and wildlife champion). Did you know that some solitary nesting bees lay their eggs in empty snail shells? Or that cuckoo bees make other bees take care of their eggs? Or that certain…

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August 2020

Evening Scything Session

2 August, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm BST
South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

Sunday 2 August 2020: Evening Scything Session with Sustainable South Brent’s 4Bs project (Brent Butterflies, Bugs and Bees) from 4pm, starting at the roadside verge outside the play park and/or later on the Apple a Day Orchard (Dr's Surgery). Anyone who has their own scythe and can safely use it is welcome as well as anyone else who wants to come and watch a traditional activity taking place. There may be an opportunity for adults to learn how to scythe…

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Scything Session with the 4Bs

6 August, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm BST
Apple a Day Orchard (Health Centre) South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

Thursday 6 August: after a successful first session on Sunday 2 August, there will be a second scything session with Sustainable South Brent’s 4Bs project (Brent Butterflies, Bugs and Bees) at the ‘Apple a Day Orchard’ at the Health Centre, starting at 6pm after the surgery closes. Anyone who has their own scythe and can safely use it is welcome as well as anyone else who wants to come and watch a traditional activity taking place. There may be an…

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Final instalment of scything sessions and green haying this year?

20 August, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm BST
Apple a Day Orchard (Health Centre) South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

An ADDED SESSION: Thursday 20 August: the final instalment of scything and green haying this year? Bring scythes, rakes and smiles to the ‘Apple a Day Orchard’ at 6pm. The plan will be to scythe the wildflower areas and spread them over the rank/scarified areas - a method known as green haying. The idea being that the seeds from the wildflowers drop down onto the soil and germinate making the rank areas more diverse. Anyone who has their own scythe…

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January 2021

The Garden Jungle: how to save our insects’: on-line talk by Dave Goulson

14 January @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm GMT
South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

Thursday 14 January 2021: ‘The Garden Jungle: how to save our insects’: on-line talk at 7.30pm by Prof Dave Goulson, renowned environmental scientist and author of the best-selling ‘A Buzz in the Meadow’ and ‘The Garden Jungle’ explores the key role we can play in helping to revive our natural world and what we can do to increase insect numbers. Organised by Moor Meadows, grassroots community group based on Dartmoor. The talk is free (Donations welcomed) but you will need…

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April 2021

‘Eco-Pub-Hub!’: ‘Going Wild in the Garden!’

1 April @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm BST
South Brent, Devon United Kingdom + Google Map

Thursday 1 April 2021: ‘Going Wild in the Garden!’ via Zoom from 8-9.30pm: The first in an informal series of SSB ‘EcoPubHub’ evenings on helping our environment and greening our lives. Join us at this introductory skillshare workshop to swap stories and experience of wildlife gardening and pick up ideas, tips and inspiration for creating a wildlife-friendly garden. With so much of our common British wildlife in collapse across most of the countryside, we can really make a difference in…

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Latest News

27 May 2020

All the fruit trees have survived the extremely wet winter and now they have what increasingly looks like a drought to contend with. The yellow rattle seeds have not faired so well – probably falling foul to rotting in the extremely wet and mild winter. We sowed yellow rattle seeds at both the Apple a Day Orchard and the Exeter Road wildflower verge with the help of pupils from South Brent Primary. A few individuals have shown their face in the wildflower verge but none came up in the orchard. This is disappointing as we put thousands of seeds down. Better luck next year. However, the other wildflowers are showing really well now so overall we are pleased with progress.

 

Wildflowers and apple tree doing well at the Apple-a-day orchard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the few yellow rattle plants that made it on the road verge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Documents

Brent Bees Butterflies and Bugs (4Bs)

TitleDescriptionVersionSizeHitsDate addedDownload
Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey_local volunteers wanted 34.32 KB38702-06-2019 DownloadPreview
Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey_Newsletter_2018 1.16 MB52002-06-2019 DownloadPreview