Among the many exciting things happening at Dryhill this year (construction of a new Lodge and plantation of a vineyard) owners Lesley and Nigel have just planted a wildflower meadow on the hillside.
Wildflowers have become less common in the UK due to new agricultural techniques including pesticides and chemical fertilizer. It is estimated that 97% of wildflower-grassland have been lost to farming since the 1930’s.
As bees rely entirely on flowers as food source the decline of flowers is directly linked to the decline in the bee population. Since the start of the 21st century already two bumblebee species have become extinct in Britain and many more are endangered.
While one may think that the downfall of the buzzing creatures can’t have such a huge impact on our human life, one would be mistaken. Bees do not only pollinate other flowers but also many of our crops such as tomatoes, peas, strawberries and apples. Annually roughly 400 million pounds are contributed to the EU economy by bee pollination.
To conclude: Less flowers equals less bees equals hungry humans.
So the new meadow – which will contain a mix of red clover, poppies, self heal, lady’s bedstraw and more – will not only add aesthetic value to the estate but also help the environment. The beehives at Dryhill are already buzzing with excitement and so are we.