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SRUC and Rural Connect Create a Buzz at the Wild Day Out

Published Tuesday, 15th July 2014 in Study at SRUC news

West Lothian Wild Day Out

SRUC staff and the Rural Connect project, a two year LEADER and Lottery Heritage funded project operating from Oatridge Campus, took part in the recent West Lothian Wild Day Out in Livingston.

Organised by West Lothian Council and Rural Connect, the event celebrates Scotland’s wildlife and the great outdoors. More than 6,000 visitors attended the event at Howden Park, which was themed around the importance of insect pollinators. SRUC and Rural Connect teamed up to talk to visitors about the recent decline of bees and what the general public can do to help protect these economically important pollinators.

Jennifer Carfrae got plenty of hands dirty with her vertical gardening demonstrations which highlighted which plants are important for insect pollinators and how little space is actually required to create a pollinator friendly garden. Angela Lloyd got hands sticky with her honey tasting quiz with people guessing which flowers a variety of honeys (provided by Graeme Sharpe of SAC Consulting) came from. Lorna Cole highlighted the diversity of bumblebees by painting hundreds of red-tailed, white-tailed and garden bumblebees on kids’, and adults’ faces.

The Rural Connect project was giving away native wildflower seeds and Scots Pine saplings that were grown by SRUC Oatridge Students – the aim was to highlight the importance of pollination as well as the need to provide forage for bees. They also demonstrated willow weaving and how to build a bee home, and took kids and adults on a virtual tour of a honey bee hive so people could see the intricate nature of the hive, the different roles played by honey bees and their lifecycles within the hive.

Russell Smith from the Rural Connect Project said: ‘By joining forces, the SRUC and Rural Connect delivered a really strong message about the importance of bees in the environment. We covered very important aspects of bees, from the different species, to their role in pollination and food production and the importance of making and conserving habitats and providing forage for them. I am sure the members of public attending our stand left knowing a lot more about the importance of bees in our world.’

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