Bexhill and Battle MP, Huw Merriman, has called on Parliament to become a home for bees and pollinators. Speaking in the House of Commons during a climate change debate, the MP called Parliament an “appalling environment” for pollinators and called on MPs to “do more than just talk a good game”. The MP went on to invite the Speaker, Environment Secretary and all MPs to join with him and a team of ecology experts to turn parts of the Parliamentary estate into gardens and wildflower meadows.
This week, the MP was re-elected as the Chairman of the cross-party All Party Parliamentary Group for Bees and Pollinators, which campaigns to protect and enhance pollinator species. At a meeting in Parliament chaired by Mr Merriman, the Environment Minister was joined by MPs from across the political divide and experts from Friends of the Earth, Kew Gardens, RSPB, British Bee Keepers Association and by Battle wildflower meadow expert, Keith Datchler OBE, to discuss how Parliament can become a more welcoming environment to wildlife. With Parliament about to be the subject of redevelopment, the group met with architects and planners to discuss how Parliament could incorporate their ideas into the new flat roofs and open spaces which will be part of the new design.
Speaking after the meeting and debates, Mr Merriman said “I am delighted that the authorities and its architects and designers have committed to working with my group of experts to turn Parliament into a host for pollinators. In the interim, I am committed to persuading the powers-that-be of the benefits of having a wildflower meadow at the visitor entrance. As a beekeeper myself, I want to put a hive of bees at the centre-piece of that meadow and have MPs manage the hive with honey available to our visitors. Pollinator species are under pressure. Without our pollinators, we will starve. It is essential that MPs not only talk about what others can do but lead by example.”