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Cardiff and Vale UHB is in a buzz about No Mow May

Bees at the entrance of their nest

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is supporting Plantlife’s No Mow May, a national initiative which aims to protect our pollinators.

Geoff Walsh, Capital, Estates & Facilities, see this as a proactive shift as a health board towards sustainability and biodiversity.

“No Mow May is a way of ensuring our green spaces have plenty of wildflowers for vital pollinators such as a bees and butterflies to enjoy,” he comments.

As well as our ten hospital sites, the Health Board is responsible for a number of community health centres, many of which have green spaces that are usually kept mown. For the whole of May, however, these lawns will be left to flourish and provide pollinators with the nectar they need.

“Our properties include a substantial amount of lawn and green space, and this is about more than just ticking a box,” says Geoff. “We are keen to see No Mow May thrive as an initiative, and our insects get off to a good start this season.”

It emphasises Cardiff and Vale UHB’s move towards finding a more comprehensive way to look at health, which takes into account our environment including those busy pollinators. We already have hives onsite at UHW and UHL, one of which produced 50 jars of honey last year.

Declining bee and pollinator health and populations are increasingly a cause for concern in the UK and globally. Cardiff & Vale WellBeeing Project is a bee garden established in the orchard at University Hospital Llandough with landscape design and planting of specific flowers designed to enable local researchers to test for antibacterial compounds in honey that kill antibiotic resistant hospital superbugs such as MRSA.

This long-term project will develop native Welsh wild flowers and bees to enhance biodiversity and the benefits of the UHB’s green spaces with regards to patient physical and mental health. It aligns with the Welsh Government Action Plan for pollinators.

“With No Mow May, we are further embracing the intent that everything we do must have a positive impact,” says Geoff.

Due to this, from now until June our mowers will stay in their sheds, giving our wild flowers and pollinators an opportunity to bloom.

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