Here at the Swettenham Arms, we know our stunning sunflower and lavender meadow is a big hit with pub customers. Dozens and dozens of brides have also had their photos taken in these beautiful, colourful surroundings. Did you know, though, that we’re also doing our bit for the environment?
British insects have been having a hard time over the last few years. With farmers needing to be as efficient as possible in the production of crops, the increased use of agricultural pesticides has meant bad news for the insect population, with bees and butterflies being particularly hard hit.
According to the Butterfly Conservation, though, things are looking up.
The charity, who help to monitor and preserve Britain’s butterfly population, say “Long spells of warm sunny weather in July and August provided a much needed boost for our beleaguered butterflies with four times as many recorded during this year’s Big Butterfly Count than in 2012. A record-breaking 46,000 people took part counting more than 830,000 butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK.”
Some species of butterfly are particularly partial to lavender, attracted by the bright colours. Butterflies also need warmth to function, and lavender is a sun-loving plant, so our beautiful meadow made a perfect environment. A warm summer and prolonged sunshine meant particularly spectacular results this year, and our meadow was a sea of fragrant lavender blue, dancing with butterflies.
Lavender also attracts bees, in particular honey bees, mason bees and bumble bees which are all useful species for gardeners, helping to pollinate plants. This summer, our lavender and sunflower meadow was at times literally buzzing with excitement! Local beekeepers keep hives nearby to harvest the delicious lavender honey, and the taste is really distinctive.
We’re glad to have done our bit for the local bees and butterflies, and we’re already gearing up for next year, which we hope will be just as spectacular. If you didn’t get time to come and see our meadow this year, make a firm date in your diary now!
If you’re interested in finding out more about butterflies and how you can help stop their numbers declining, take a look at Clive Harris’ The Ultimate Butterfly Guide over on his blog.