Pollinator Festival

  • Sat 24 Aug to Mon 26 Aug 2019
  • 10am to 6pm
How to book

Pollinator Festival

There’s another wild weekend of bank holiday fun in store with a special focus on bees, butterflies and other crucial pollinating insects at the National Botanic Garden of Wales’ Pollinator Festival on Saturday August 24th to Monday August 26th.

Pollinating insect numbers have dropped dramatically over the past 30 years, if not longer.  As a centre of world-leading pollinator research and home to approximately half a million honey bees in our Bee Garden a kaleidoscope of tropical butterflies in our Butterfly House – Plas Pilipala, as well as thousands of insect pollinator species, the Botanic Garden is working tirelessly to reverse this worrying trend, and is a natural place to come and learn about bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and a host of other fascinating pollinator species.

The Garden’s Pollinator Festival will highlight the work being done to combat this crisis, across Wales and at the Garden, which includes the PhD research being undertaken by Abigail Lowe, Laura Jones and Lucy Witter, under the leadership of the Garden’s Head of Science, Dr Natasha de Vere. Their work mostly concentrates on which flowers are best for hungry pollinators by collecting samples of pollen from their bodies.

Pollinator Festival Programme

* Meet at Canolfan Tyfu

# Meet at the Gatehouse

~ Meet at the Performance Stage

+ Plant Sales

@ Millennium Square

 Saturday August 24th

~ 11:00: Choosing a Pollinator Friendly Wildflower Seed Mix with Lucy Witter

* 11:00-15:00:  BioBlitz with the Science Team

* 11:00-15:00:  Activities for All

# 13:00: Guided Walk: Bees and Hoverflies at the Garden with Abigail Lowe

# 14:00: Guided Walk – Butterflies and day-flying moths with Lydia Cocks

Throughout the day in the Great Glasshouse:

  • Chat to our beekeeping volunteers
  • Skep-making demonstrations with Tina Cunningham
  • See the latest work of Stitching Botanical
  • Local businesses selling products
  • Charity stands

 Sunday August 25th

+ 10:30-12:00: Learn about Peat-free compost with Kevin McGinn

~ 11:00: Choosing a Pollinator Friendly Wildflower Seed Mix with Lucy Witter

* 11:00-15:00:  BioBlitz  with the Science Team

* 11:00-15:00:  Activities for All

# 13:00: Guided Walk: Bees and Hoverflies at the Garden with Abigail Lowe

+ 13:30-15:00: Learn about Peat-free compost with Kevin McGinn

# 14:00: Guided Walk – Butterflies and day-flying moths with Lydia Cocks

Throughout the day in the Great Glasshouse:

  • Chat to our beekeeping volunteers
  • Skep-making demonstrations with Tina Cunningham
  • See the latest work of Stitching Botanical
  • Local businesses selling products
  • Charity stands

Monday August 26th

+ 10:30-12:00: Learn about Peat-free compost with Kevin McGinn

~ 11:00: Choosing a Pollinator Friendly Wildflower Seed Mix with Lucy Witter

* 11:00-15:00:  BioBlitz with the Science Team

* 11:00-15:00:  Activities for All

@ 12:00: Oak BioBlitz with Liam Olds

@ 13:00: Oak BioBlitz with Liam Olds

+ 13:30-15:00: Learn about Peat-free compost with Kevin McGinn

@14:00: Oak BioBlitz with Liam Olds

Throughout the day in the Great Glasshouse:

  • Chat to our beekeeping volunteers
  • Skep-making demonstrations with Tina Cunningham
  • See the latest work of Stitching Botanical
  • Local businesses selling products
  • Charity stands

All guided walks to be up to 45 minutes 

As a member of the Pollinator Taskforce created as part of the Welsh Government Action Plan for Pollinators and a member of the Welsh Beekeepers’ Association, the Garden has a great team of experts to pass on their knowledge. With around 5,500 different types of native and non-native flowering plants, the National Botanic Garden of Wales is a great outdoor science lab to scientifically test which plants attract particular pollinators, knowledge that can help gardeners and conservationists look after our pollinators now and in the future.

Visitors to the Pollinator Festival will enjoy a packed programme of activities, talks, guided walks, information and trade stands. The Garden’s Science Team will be holding a ‘BioBlitz’ from the Canolfan Tyfu classrooms and adjacent hay meadow, which forms part of the Waun Las National Nature Reserve, as well as discussing their research projects and showing collected specimens. Activities for All – activities for adults, children and families – will include bee hotel making sessions, as well as pollinator-themed art and crafts fun. Organisations joining us for Pollinator Festival include the Wildlife Trust, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, the Woodland Trust and more, as well as small, local businesses selling products inspired by or by working with pollinators, such as local honey and honey products by Bee Dazzled, cider by Afal y Graig Cider and many more.

The Garden’s Head of Science, Dr Natasha de Vere, said: “Here at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, we love our pollinating insects. So much that we have a whole festival devoted to them! Come and find out all about the organisations that are working hard to help Wales’ pollinators, with stands, talks and workshops, plus a ‘Bioblitz’ for everyone to take part in. You can also explore our pollinator-themed craft fair with goods and gifts ranging from local honey to handmade ‘bug hotels’.”

Learn more on pollinator-friendly plants to plant in your garden, as well as the most suitable peat-free compost with the help of Growing the Future’s Science Officer, Dr Kevin McGinn, who will be based in the Garden’s Y Pot Blodyn Garden Centre. The Garden’s volunteer beekeepers will be on hand in the Garden’s iconic Great Glasshouse to tell visitors why we keep bees at the Botanic Garden and to give information on Growing the Future’s courses to any budding beekeepers and fledgling growers. Pollinator Festival will also be the last opportunity this year to get your hands on some of the Garden’s very own delicious honey, Garden’s Gold, as a limited supply will be made especially available for this event, but when it’s all gone – it’s gone!

Visit the Garden’s Gallery and be amazed by the work of Welsh artist, designer and maker from Cardiff, Annette Marie Townsend. Annette’s ‘For Safekeeping’ exhibition features wax botanical sculptures of wildflowers and original drawings on copper plates of preserved insect specimens from a museum collection. She is widely known for her expertise in wax botanical model making and her scientific drawings and sculptures are held in the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

For any enquiries during the event, there’ll be a dedicated Growing the Future information point based within the Garden, with some amazing supersized, 3D-printed pollen grain models, created in partnership with Cardiff University’s Bioimaging Research Hub. These pollen models give a fascinating insight into the different structures of pollen from a variety of plants.
The Garden is open from 10am to 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Admission to the Garden is £14.50 (including Gift Aid) for adults and this includes entry to the British Bird of Prey Centre. Under 5s are free and parking is free for all.

For more information about this or other events, please call 01558 667149 or email gtf@gardenofwales.org.uk.

This event is part of the National Botanic Garden of Wales’ Growing the Future project. This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.