WORK is taking place in and around Droitwich to preserve the habitat of local bee populations.

Following a review by Friends of the Earth, which detailed how 97 per cent of their vital grassland habitats have been removed in the past 60 years, Worcestershire County Council has been contributing to several projects to help provide homes for bees.

The council is helping to create nature reserves on roadside verges, as well as planting more traditional orchards in the area through the Traditional Orchard Project, planting new trees and managing older ones to provide a rich source of pollen for the insects.

The council is also promoting bee hotels, actively encouraging bees to produce honey, which can then be bought at the Countryside Shop.

Councillor Anthony Blagg cabinet member with responsibility for environment, said: "It is imperative that we help to sustain the environment and keep a healthy population of bees. The council is committed to helping maintain areas of unspoilt countryside such as orchards and meadows, under its environmental policy to ensure that trees and animals can co-exist without the intervention of man-made insecticides or technologies."

"I think it is very important to act now to help with the pollination of crops and plant life for the benefit of future generations in Worcestershire."

The council is also looking ahead, and using data from the Worcestershire Habitat Inventory and Grassland Inventory to try and work out what might impact on habitats and species in future, so it can work to protect them.