idverde introduced two Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terristris ssp. audax) colonies to the Manchester City Football Academy in May 2018 as part of an ongoing initiative to improve the estate grounds for biodiversity.
Manchester City’s Football Academy is an 80-acre estate and home to City Group’s global headquarters. The world-leading training campus hosts 16.5 training pitches (the half pitch is for goal keeper training), a hotel for the first team and visitors, as well as a 7,000 seater academy stadium.
idverde has been maintaining the estate landscape including the maintenance of trees, grass, wildflower meadow, shrub beds and hedging since April 2016. As part of ongoing improvements to the estate, idverde has been working with MCFC to make the site more attractive and suitable for local wildlife.
Daniel Lewis (Landscape Contract Manager at MCFC) decided to use the club’s Turf Rewards points to claim two Beepol bumblebee villas with live bee colonies. idverde was happy to assist Dan with situating the bee villas and releasing the bees onto site.
Dominic Knower from idverde’s Greenspace Development team met with the site maintenance team Dan Cramner, Paul Silk and Dawton Eckersall to brief the team on bumblebee ecology and discuss implications for future maintenance of the site.
The team decided to situate the colonies in the long grass habitat which underlies the perimeter tree belt, providing partial shade for the bees, and in an area of the site where they will not be disturbed.
Dominic Knower commented: ‘’These bumblebee colonies are a great addition to the City Football Academy site where we have already recorded five different bumblebee species. The wooden bee villas are really useful for educating and communicating to people about the work we are doing on site. I wouldn’t advise approaching a wild bumblebee nest but watching them fly in and out of one of these lodges from a safe distance is a great alternative.”
Dan Cramner, idverde Team leader, said – ‘’I enjoyed working alongside Dom to help bring a focus on biodiversity to this site. Setting up and installing the bumblebee boxes and having our very own bee colonies is something completely new for me. I think that it is a step in the right direction to create a more wild and environmental feel about the place, which is what the club are looking for.”