Bosavern Community Farm was involved in the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Wheal Buzzy project for the second year running as part of our ongoing work to improve habitats for pollinators and West Cornwall wildlife biodiversity. Cornwall AONB is home to over 190 species of bee with 120 of these being solitary mining bees. Solitary mining bees (also known as a differ bee) are gentle loners that nest in burrows in the ground. The Farm has been cultivated without pesticides and other chemicals for decades, helping to provide a refuge for biodiverse flora and fauna, such as the buffish mining bee pictured below, or the tawny mining bee depicted below by our 2019 Wildlife Art Competition Winner, Freddie.

Image by Patrick Saunders, Kernow Ecology

The Farm’s participation in Wheal Buzzy included growing over 1,000 wild flowers from locally collected seeds (much of it was gathered here at the Farm), comprising of flowers such as purple vipers bugloss (which has previously been described in the Cornwall Flora as possible native to St Just), as well as fleabane, weasel’s snout, birds-foot-trefoil and wild angelica – these enhance our existing wildflower meadows even further. By teaming up with the Wheal Buzzy project, we hosted ‘Buzzy Days’, special volunteer sessions where people came and helped sow and plant out hundreds of native wildflowers to enhance the foraging areas for solitary and mining bees.

New wildflower patch and strip across Home Field created with Buzzy Day volunteers and our regular wildlife gardening volunteers, Summer 2019.

We have also developed a Nature Trail around the Farm and ran guided walks during Farm Open Days to identify some of the rare bees and wildlife.