A volunteer beekeeping association and the Friends of Whitehill and Highbury Schools have been awarded more than £1,000 in grants by North Herts Council.

Buzzworks, which runs a Discovery Centre and bee-friendly garden in Hitchin and encourages people to try their hand at beekeeping, has been awarded £932.

The money will be used to buy equipment their educational sessions, including a microscope, UV dark box, and gardening gloves.

A Buzzworks spokesperson said: “Thank you to North Herts Council for their very generous grant.

"It will help us to update the resources at the Education Centre and to encourage the community to improve and cherish our greenspaces. Bees need everyone to help provide the habitat they need to survive.”

Meanwhile, £459 was awarded to the Friends of Whitehill and Highbury Schools for the purchase of three gazebos.

Existing gazebos at the schools are now unfit for purpose, and will be replaced by the new gazebos.

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They will be available for use at events led by the Friends, by the schools themselves during the day, and for community groups such as local scouts who use the school sites at other times.

Karen Grant, from Friends of Whitehill and Highbury Schools, said: “We are really looking forward to putting these gazebos to good use at our upcoming summer events, they will be invaluable in providing shade to our volunteers and children.”

Jeanette Thompson, legal and community service director at North Herts Council, said: "Bees are vital to our ecosystem, pollinating much of the food we eat, so we are grateful to Buzzworks for continuing their great work in educating people about their importance.

"We are also pleased to help these schools’ Friends group to purchase new gazebos to enable them to support a busy events calendar for the local community.”