Newly-elected Metro Mayor (and bee fan) Dan Norris made a bee-line to a Chew Valley nature reserve as part of World Bee Day celebrations.

The Mayor took a walk in one of Folly Farm’s blooming wildflower meadows, which bees and other pollinators love.

While Folly Farm is awash with colour with flowering bluebells and primroses, shockingly 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s, spelling trouble for bees.

Habitat destruction and pesticide use mean we have already lost around thirteen species of bees. But Ian Barrett from the Avon Wildlife Trust explained to the Metro Mayor how simple steps such as planting flowers can help. The Mayor also learnt how the Wildlife Trust collects seeds at their nature reserves and plant them in more urban areas.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris wants to make the West of England the Bee and Pollinator Capital of the UK. He said: “Bees matter. Simply put we can’t live without them. It’s been great to find out how Avon Wildlife Trust are helping bees. I wouldn’t give them a B, they deserve an A+. We can’t all plant meadows but we can make our gardens and window boxes bee friendly and back No Mow May. So on this special day for bees let’s pledge to support those buzzing insects who busily produce liquid gold and pollinate so many of our crops to keep the food we eat growing.”

Ian Barrett, Chief Executive of Avon Wildlife Trust, said: “We are facing an ecological emergency, and the figures are worrying. This collapse in numbers looks set to have far-reaching consequences for wildlife and people. However, it’s not too late to act and allow nature to recover. So far, we have restored more than 209 hectares of habitat. We’ve planted 523 hedgerows and 300 trees, engaging with 130 landowners in the process. That’s a lot of results – and we’re ambitious for more.”