WillFredd, The Ark, Trinity and Biodiversity Ireland: Inspiring children to help save the bees! Junior Pollinator Plan launched.

In 2015 the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 was launched, aimed at helping adults understand the importance of pollinators, the dangers facing them and things they could do to help.

Today a special junior version of this plan, written specifically for children, has been launched.  The junior plan is a collaboration between the Steering Group of the original Plan, WillFredd Theatre and The Ark. It is supported by Green-Schools and Eco-Schools.

Last year, bee experts in Ireland came together to produce the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020. It explored the challenges facing bees in the world today, the key role they play in our eco system and ways in which everyone could do their bit to help protect them. This junior plan, presents these ideas especially for a younger audience in a fun, easy to understand way. It encourages children to look at how they can help safe guard against the demise of bees in Ireland and will help children understand the importance of bees to our world and empower them to take action to help safeguard our pollinators.

The junior version of the plan was commissioned as part of the education programme accompanying the production BEES! A Musical, co-produced by WillFredd Theatre and The Ark.  The show explores the adventures and challenges faced by three very different types of bees and their importance for us humans! Opening here at The Ark in Temple Bar on 13 February, it is filled with songs, dancing and flying that will have you singing along and leaving with a mission to fill your world with bee-friendly plants!

“Unfortunately, Irish pollinators are in decline, with one third of our 98 bee species threatened with extinction” said Dr Úna FitzPatrick from the National Biodiversity Data Centre, who chaired the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan steering group. She added “We are thrilled to be involved in producing a junior version of the plan. Teaching the next generation about the importance of pollinators and what simple things we can do in our schools or gardens to help is vital”.

Professor Jane Stout from the Botany Department of Trinity College Dublin was also part of the steering group for the main plan. “The junior version of the Plan is a great way for children to learn about how bees and other pollinators are important for the production of food and for maintaining healthy ecosystems for the future. It’s a wonderful way for them to learn about the importance of insects in our everyday lives.”

The Junior Pollinator plan was created with funding from Wellcome Trust and Science Foundation Ireland