Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Pembrokeshire bumblebee project wins 25k prize

Shrill carder bees are being encouraged in Pembrokeshire
The shrill carder bee is only found at six UK sites, three in Wales

A project to encourage a rare bumblebee has been named the winner of a £25,000 conservation prize.

It is hoped the scheme to enhance the wildflower habitat near Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire, will help to establish a colony of shrill carder bees.

It is one of just six sites in the UK where the species can be found.

It was chosen as the winner of the 30,000 euro prize in an online vote on the Live for the Outdoors website, from a shortlist of six UK projects.

The Pembrokeshire scheme is a collaboration between the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Ministry of Defence, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and the Countryside Council for Wales.

"This is not only brilliant news for the shrill carder bee and other bumblebees but for a whole host of birds and beasties that need more wildflower grasslands in Pembrokeshire," said Dr Pippa Rayner, Conservation Officer for the Bumblebee Trust.

"We are so pleased that the project seems to have captured the public's enthusiasm and support and thank each and every person who voted.

"We can't wait to get started and begin restoring wildflower habitats for bumblebees in Pembrokeshire."

The shrill carder bee, named because of its high-pitched buzz , remains the rarest bumblebee in Wales and England.

Its decline has been linked to the loss of wildflower environments and grassland meadows.

Local ranger Lynne Houlston said: "Our project is at Castlemartin Range and includes planting native wildflowers, linking related habitats and working directly to conserve a UK biodiversity action plan species, alongside the MoD's proposed creation of a new trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders."

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