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News article created on 18 September 2012

Help Bath’s wildlife this autumn

People in Bath are being urged to help provide food and shelter for butterflies and bees along the city’s canals, as part of a planting project being run this autumn.

Autumn is the ideal time to be planting bulbs and plug plants so they can establish a strong root system over the winter. Sarah Brice, project manager

We're looking for volunteers and fundraisers to help re-invigorate Bath’s towpaths, in a bid to boost the population of many endangered species, which are essential to the city’s ecosystem.

The project will see the length of towpath from Widcombe bottom lock to Darlington Wharf improved, with bulbs and shrubs planted to ensure a year-round food supply is available to local wildlife.

Volunteer or donate

Wildflowers, lavenders and a range of herbaceous plants, which will flower continuously throughout the seasons, will provide nectar for a bees and butterflies. This includes sedums, which are renowned for attracting butterflies in late summer. A range of bulbs will be planted in autumn, to prolong the food source for bees and butterflies.

Viburnums and pyracanthas will offer berries throughout the winter that will feed numerous bird species when there is little else around. Those who want to support the project can either volunteer their time or donate money. We need to raise £1,250 to complete the work. 

Provide food and shelter

Sarah Brice, project manager at the Canal & River Trust, says: “With the help of hundreds of volunteers the Kennet & Avon Canal has been much improved over the past 20 years and it’s now experiencing a second lease of life. We now have the opportunity to further improve this green corridor through Bath and the food source for the declining bee and butterfly populations. They are vital for the pollination of food crops, wildflowers and visitor interest.

“Autumn is the ideal time to be planting bulbs and plug plants so they can establish a strong root system over the winter. Once established the plants will provide food and shelter for canal wildlife for decades to come.

Volunteers are needed to work on the project from September to April. A group already meets on the fourth Thursday of each month and would welcome new recruits.

For more information about how you can fundraise via JustGiving, visit our appeal page and clicj on 'fundraise'.