At the beginning of the year Derrick Dempsey, one of our Quality Assurance Technicians, recognised an opportunity to create a pollinator friendly area by planting wildflower seeds.
Wildflowers provide an essential habitat for pollinators such as bees and butterflies; they also provide food, essential for maintaining a healthy population of pollinators.
In early February Derrick identified an unoccupied area at the far end of the car park which presented an opportunity to increase biodiversity around the site. By mid-February Derrick had organised the purchase of the wildflower seeds through The Grass People, a company in England, who provided all the expertise and information needed to sow and maintain the wildflowers in the soil conditions at the site.
In March, with the help of the quarry operators, the area was cleared in preparation for sowing. This was necessary to eliminate weeds in the heavily grassed area, which would have inhibited the growth of the seeds. Derrick, together with the help from colleague Cormac McNamee (one of the Engineering team) planted the wildflower seed mixture over the bare soil.
Whilst planning the wildflower area Derrick also had the idea of building a ‘bug hotel’ at the very back corner of the area. This ‘bug hotel’ creates a home and hibernation location for a variety of creatures such as solitary bees, spiders, ladybirds and woodlice.
Derrick Dempsey, Quality Assurance Technician, Kilwaughter Minerals, said:
“My idea was to create a wildflower meadow to increase biodiversity in an area of land that was previously not in use. The plight of pollinators such as bees has been well publicised as 97% of our wildflower areas have been eradicated since the 1930’s so the fact that we could do something to help seemed like a great idea”