Buxton residents invited to join Great Bilberry Bumblebee Hunt

Buxton residents are being invited to become bee spotters and join the Great Bilberry Bumblebee Hunt taking place during the Buxton Festival Fringe (July 7-25).

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 11:38 am

A number of colourful bees, made by local community groups including U3A’s Knit and Natter and Fairfield WI’s Natty Knitters, can be found adorning the windows of local shops in an event co-ordinated by the Friends of Buxton Station (FoBS).

Dave Carlisle, Chairman of FoBS said: “The Great Buxton Bilberry Bumblebee Hunt (GBBBH) aims to increase awareness of this special little insect, found only in mountainous areas like the Peak District; we are lucky to have them present in and around Buxton and ought to help them survive.

“We hope that our residents and visitors will take part, learn how to spot this special rare bee in the wild and make their gardens more bee-friendly for any that stray into town.”

Billie the Buxton Bilberry bumblebee with artist Pam Smart and Potter’s Manager Matt Nuttall standing in front of Turner’s Memorial.

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The hunt is part of the work organised by FoBS to highlight the plight of the bees, currently a threatened species. The Bilberry bumblebee is easy to spot because of its large orange abdomen and two yellow stripes across the chest.

A bilberry bumblebee safari will take place on Monday July 19, from 5pm. Run by enthusiastic amateur Buxton naturalist, Steve Orridge, it will be a gentle journey from Buxton Station up to Lightwood to look for bumblebees, lizards and all manner of local wildlife. The walk is a 2.5 mile loop suitable for people with conventional wheelchairs and pushchairs. Numbers are limited – to reserve a place, email [email protected]

The GBBBH was launched by Billie, the Buxton Bilberry bumblebee fibreglass sculpture, donated to FoBS partners Transition Buxton by Wild in Art of Whaley Bridge. Billie was painted by local artist, Pam Smart and will stay in the shop window at Potter’s until the end of July.

Mosaic Artist Jo Spencer with Husband Mark

Pam, who provided her artistic services free of charge, said: “I was thrilled when asked to help out with this project. It’s lovely to work with so many passionate people who love Buxton, our local wildlife and our beautiful buildings as much as I do. I’m known for painting local buildings, so it was a challenge to work on Billie.”

After the hunt, Billie will be hosted by FoBS in the Japanese Garden at Buxton Station when not out visiting groups and schools.

A large mosaic has also been installed at the station. Commissioned by FoBS and created by local Artist Jo Spencer, it shows a countryside view of Lightwood with a number of bumblebees usually found there in the foreground.

Bees can be found at:

Potter’s - Terrace Road

Hargreaves, Bells & Fitzgeralds - Spring Gardens

Divine Trash – Cavendish Arcade

Buxton Visitor Centre - The Crescent

Buxton Pudding Emporium - The Square

Clowes the Chemist - Cavendish Circus

Beer District, Isla & Peak Ascent bike shop – The Colonnade

Everything’s Rosy - Hardwick Street

Tradesman’s Entrance Café – Market Place

Pig and Pepper, Symposium, Vesuvius, Day Zero, The Closet, Queenie of Shabby Chic & Scrivener’s - High Street

Green Man Gallery - Hardwick Square South

Thomas Theyer Foundation – London Road.

Each has a fact about the insect and a note about the people who made it. To support the campaign, or let FoBs know when you’ve spotted a Bilberry bumblebee, email [email protected]