Arundel pupils challenge MP Andrew Griffith as part of presentation on Arundel Wildflower Project 2021

Arundel pupils have welcomed MP Andrew Griffith to their school to discuss their involvement in the Arundel Wildflower Project 2021.

The Arundel and South Downs MP was keen to speak to the children at Arundel Church of England School about the scheme, which is the brainchild of residents Martin Alderton and his partner Karen Tunnicliffe.

Pupils gave a presentation on Friday to show their fact-finding and explain why the project is so important to them.

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Oliver Seeds told the MP: “It has been calculated that approximately a third of the food we eat will have been the end result of a process beginning with pollination. The fewer pollinators we have, the more problems we will have getting enough food.”

Martin Alderton, Karen Tunnicliffe, Arundel town councillor Joe Riley and Andrew Griffith with Arundel Church of England Primary School pupils Adam, Poppy, Mackenzie, Charlotte, Oliver, Oscar, Jemima and Maddy

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Arundel Wildflower Project 2021 asks children to sow the seeds of a bee-friendly...

Poppy Parsons challenged Mr Griffith on whether the government would continue with the EU law banning certain pesticides, which have a negative impact on bees.

The MP reassured her the government took green issues seriously and said they would be supporting ‘anything that protects the valuable assets of this country’.

Mr Griffith said: “The children were full of enthusiasm, knowledge and a genuine care for their environment. Martin and Karen’s wildflower project is a fantastic idea to inspire and grow the awareness needed to protect our important pollinators.”

All the children at Arundel Church of England School and St Philip’s Catholic Primary School have been given seed bags and information packs, so they can sow wildflowers to support bees and nature.

Each 5g bag will cover one square metre and with the 410 children involved, it should cover the equivalent of 45 car parking spaces.

Andrew Simpson, head teacher, said: “We wanted the children to understand that as pollinators, bees play a vital role in the production of roughly one third of the food we eat.

“Bees are in trouble but we can help make a difference, both locally and nationally, if we act in an environmentally-friendly way. And, if we can let them know that insecticides and pesticides are harmful to them, it’s knowledge they can pass on to their parents.

“This project allows us to focus and develop a curriculum at the school that is based on first-hand experience and allows the children to explore their beautiful local environment. We want to create proactive citizens who put the needs of the many over the needs of the few.”

Martin and Karen, who run Arundel Historic Tours, were inspired by the Arundel Bee Project and funded the seeds through sales of the book Arundel A Postman’s View.

The aim is for Arundel to become the UK’s first bee-friendly town, a title which would be awarded by The Bee Friendly Trust.

Mr Griffith said: “I would love to see Arundel declared as the first bee-friendly town and to see wildflower patches springing up all across the area.”

The school will be sowing the seeds on March 27 and 28.