The Southend-on-Sea River of Flowers project was initiated by the Southend-on-Sea and District Division of the Essex Beekeepers' Association (EBKA).
It will be no surprise that Beekeepers are particulary conscious of the crucial role played by insect pollinators and their mutual dependance on 'forage' plants. It is also clear that significant declines in populations of pollinating insects is a matter that can only be ignored at our peril.
One of the ways in which we can act to address this worrying trend is to ensure that the plants which provide the food sources for these insects - and are consequently pollinated and can bear fruit - are available in our local environment.
At a meeting in February, 2013 hosted by Southend Division of the EBKA, Kathryn Lwin (Founder Director of the River of Flowers), gave an inspirational presentation, which resulted in the commitment to create a River of Flowers in Southend-on-Sea.
Attending the meeting were local Council representatives as well as those from invited community interest groups. The required three sites to commence the Southend-on-Sea River were established and the project was born.
Since then, the project has gained pace and numerous candidate 'River' sites/initiatives have been identified and will be developed and added in due course..
A first class response from local Council officers has meant that the work being undertaken by them in planting pollinator-friendly sites across the town can be more widely appreciated and supplemented by the many other initiatives involved in our local 'River'.
The Southend-on-Sea River is already bringing local people together to work for this truly important outcome.