Welcome to the St Albans Friends of the Earth

To subscribe to our monthly updates, email stalbansfoe@hotmail.com

Follow us on Twitter @StalbansFoE


Next meeting: Tuesday 5th June at 8pm

Join in our next event - more details here



Bee

THE BEE CAUSE – IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE!
 
Last week we received this email from Friends of the Earth HQ and we wanted to share it with you all… 

Dear Bee Cause campaign contacts,

A couple of weeks ago countries across the European Union voted to ban bee-harming neonic pesticides on all crops grown outdoors, including the UK. This is an historic moment for bees! (see https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bees/eu-bans-beeharming-neonics).
 
On behalf of the Bees team, thank you for everything you’ve done on the campaign, since it began in 2012. It might surprise you to know the original plan was for a 6 month campaign on bees….and here we are 5 years later! Thank you for all the postcards you’ve persuaded people to sign, wildflower seeds you’ve given away, the Bee Walks, Bee Worlds, Bee Teas, More Than Honey film screenings, letters and emails to MPs, media stories…oh the list goes on but you get the picture. This would not have happened without you, so please do take a moment to celebrate this wonderful mile stone.
 
As we have the neonic ban under our belt, we’ll start focusing our efforts on habitat loss – a big problem for bees and other pollinators – by asking councils to implement pollinator plans so we can increase pollinator-friendly habitats across the UK. We’re also looking at how we can reduce overall pesticide use in farming by influencing the upcoming Agriculture Bill to protect our natural world. We need to shape these pieces of work up a bit more, so watch this space.

Thanks again!
Tom and everyone on the Bees team at Friends of the Earth

Yippee we did it! Well done everyone and a big thank you to all of you for helping us. 



Great British Bee Count

Get involved

Join the Great British Bee Count 17th May – 30th June 2018. With over 270 species recorded in Britain there are a lot of different bees to find.

 
Thanks again for all your help!











Easy ways to help bees
Children enjoying the outdoors

Grow pollen and nectar-rich plants
Different bee species prefer different flower shapes, so aim for a range, from tubular-shaped flowers to open-headed flowers. As well as flowers, try shrubs, herbs, trees, fruit and veg. Spring and autumn flowering bulbs are also great.

Plant through the seasons
Bees need food all year round, so grow a mix of plants that flower from spring through to autumn and winter to offer a welcome food source for bees in the colder months. 

No garden?  Plant up a pot or window box
Try lavender, heathers, nasturtiums, sunflowers and bulbs like crocuses, as well as herbs. 

Grow flowering herbs
Try chives, sage, marjoram, mint and thyme, and rosemary if you have more space. 

Learn to love a few weeds
Dandelions and clovers are a great source of food for bees. 

Avoid using pesticides
Help wildlife thrive by putting away the chemical pesticides, especially those containing bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides.  

Give bees a drink in hot weather
Provide a shallow bowl of clean rainwater with a few pebbles for the bees to land on.
 
Buy a bee-friendly gift
A beautiful bee-friendly plant, bee hotel or a Friends of the Earth Bee Saver Kit make great gifts that will give our bees a helping hand. 





Act on plastics now!


Plastics are choking our oceans, but there's so much we can all do to help
  • refuse straws in bars and restaurants
  • take your own reusable cup when buying take away coffee
  • always take your own reusable bag when shopping
  • buy second hand plastic items, including synthetic clothing, and donate your own unwanted items so others can reuse them
We're delighted to partner with Plastic Free St.Albans in working towards an end to single use plastics. 

You can follow @stalbansfoe and support #PlasticFreeFriday.



Water Bottle Refill Points


You know what it’s like, you’re enjoying some retail therapy in town, which is thirsty work, and your bottle runs dry. 
Nothing for it but to buy a bottle of drink, adding another plastic bottle to the world. Wrong.

Christelle from Plastic Free St.Albans (of which St.Albans Friends of the Earth is a partner) is working with St.Albans District Council, Affinity Water and St.Albans BID (city centre businesses) on St.Albans Refill. Under this scheme businesses display a sticker in their shopfront indicating that they are happy to fill up your bottle for free. It reduces the number of plastic bottles we get through, and, for participating businesses, improves their green credentials and gets potential customers through the door.

If you’re a business who’d like to join in, then simply sign up using the free Refill App (available from your App provider). You can collect stickers to show your participation from St.Albans District Council reception.

And if you’d like your favourite cafe to participate then you can ask them before adding them to the network via the free Refill App.

It’s well worth getting the Refill App on your phone as each time you Refill you can log a point on your phone and work your way to a smart, steel water bottle. Also, you’ll be showing how useful the scheme is for you.

As part of this scheme, 2 water fountains are planned for St.Albans later this year, with more to follow as funds allow.