A new bar with a difference has opened in Llandudno Junction and it’s the bees knees.
The Maelgwn Nectar Bar is aiming to attract a special kind of clientele, the winged variety, to pollinate the wild flowers and fruit trees in a new wildlife garden in a busy residential area of the village.
It’s a partnership between housing association Cartrefi Conwy and the Conwy Valley Branch of North Wales Wildlife Trust, with the help of local grow your own group Incredible Edible Conwy.
Cartrefi Conwy provided the strip of land on Victoria Drive alongside their acclaimed Cwrt Ysgol Maelgwn redevelopment of a former primary school in what they believe will be the first of a series of similar wildlife-friendly schemes.
Adrian Johnson, Cartrefi Conwy Executive Lead for Sustainable Development, paid a visit to the site and said: “This really encapsulates what we are about, engaging with a community project and one that complements what we have done here at Ysgol Maelgwn.
“What we would like to do now is to work in partnership with the North Wales Wildlife Trust and roll this out to our other estates and developments.
“This is a new build but we have older communities where similar projects can work to enhance the environment, engage with our tenants and provide opportunities to help people back into work.
“Exciting projects like this fit in with what we do and with our volunteering and back to work programmes and with our new sustainability strategy to work with communities to bring derelict spaces like this back to life.”
Volunteers from the Conwy branch of the Wildlife Trust and Incredible Edible, helped by local residents, have been busy planting the narrow strip of land which is over 30 metres long but only three metres wide.
They have received donations of seeds and plants from members, from the Ramblers Association and from an elderly resident who had collected free packets of wildflower seeds from gardening magazines and handed them over.
There was already a mature cherry tree on the land and Cartrefi Conwy have planted a row of apple trees and all the planting is intended to encourage bees and other pollinators to a site which will need minimal maintenance.
Mike Mosey of the Conwy branch of the Trust said: “Lots of local people walk this route and it’s an opportunity to make it more attractive to them and to local wildlife.
“We are creating a nectar bar by growing as many bee-friendly, nectar and pollen producing plants as we can to help wildlife into the area and hopefully engage with people to encourage them to do something similar in their own gardens.
“We have put in a mix of wildflower seeds and planting and we’re hoping the community will take ownership of it so it becomes the community’s garden rather than something that belongs to an organisation.
“There has been a problem with littering here but we’re hoping that if this area looks nice and attractive that will discourage people from throwing their litter and give them a sense of pride in the neighbourhood.
“We hope it will also inspire others to do something similar in their own areas in the way that Incredible Edible have done near Conwy Castle where we have scattered wildflower seeds and had a fantastic display of flowers.”
Local resident Eric Jones turned up to help and he said: “I had heard they were going to be planting up this area today and this kind of environmental improvement is something close to my heart.
“It’s great that something like this is happening here and I look forward to seeing the flowers coming out in the spring.”
Celia Williams, of Incredible Edible Conwy, said: “We wanted to create something that is low maintenance and doesn’t need a lot of work so it can be left to do its best and look after itself.
“The wildflowers will bring a splash of colour in the spring and summer and then green foliage so we have somewhere that nature can thrive and that will look lovely.”
The Maelgwn Nectar Bar can be found on Victoria Drive, next to the former Maelgwn School, which has been recently redeveloped by Cartrefi Conwy as specialist accommodation and affordable housing.