Bees awakening from hibernation in the area around Swinden Quarry in Craven are to get a helping hand.
The quarry’s owners, Tarmac, paid £30,000 into the Swinden Quarry Natural Environment Fund in 2020, the first year of its operation.
Some of that money has gone to the charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, to help fund its popular Bee Together project.
New applications to the fund are now being invited, with a submission deadline of 9th April.
Member Champion for the Natural Environment at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Ian McPherson, said: “At this time of year queen bumblebees are waking up from hibernation and might be seen foraging and looking for suitable nest sites. We depend on bees and other wild pollinators for our food, but insect numbers are in decline.
“YDMT, as usual, is doing work that nobody else is doing. Its Bee Together project will assist communities to create ‘mini-meadows’ and new solitary bee nesting sites. Parish councils will be helped to put together ‘pollinator action plans’, while local people will be offered training in meadow management and pollinator identification.”
Bee Together has also received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Yorkshire Water and the National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.
Mr McPherson added: “Bee Together is exactly the sort of project that the Swinden Quarry Natural Environment Fund can support. In the first year of the fund, we made a total of eight grants including to the Upper Wharfedale School in Threshfield for biodiversity enhancement within the school grounds and to the Friends of Embsay with Eastby Nature Reserve. We look forward to the fund supporting more people who are looking to increase plant and animal life in the locality of the quarry. Please get your applications in now.”
On 20 December 2019, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority granted Tarmac planning permission for the deepening of Swinden Quarry near Cracoe and an extension of time allowed for the winning and working of limestone until 2039. To give force to certain planning obligations arising from the consent, the National Park Authority and Tarmac entered into a section 106 planning agreement. Tarmac will make an annual contribution of £30,000, until 2040, to the Swinden Quarry Natural Environment Fund, which is administered by the National Park Authority.