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Ballygowan Facility Becomes Area Of Conservation For Bees

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Ballygowan Facility Becomes Area Of Conservation For Bees

Britvic Ireland has announced that its Ballygowan facility – in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick – has become an official Area of Conservation for the native Irish honey bee.

The commitment took place on World Bee Day, 20 May.

World Bee Day aims to raise awareness on the importance of pollinators and their contribution to sustainable development.

Ballygowan is the only bottled-water company in Ireland with a conservation area for the Native Irish Honey Bee Society (NIHBS).

Area Of Conservation

The Newcastle West site is the biggest industry in Limerick that has a conservation area. It boasts over 40 acres of protected land.

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Part of this area is used to house five native Irish honey bee colonies.

The native Irish honey bee plays a critical role in the pollination of plants and crops.

However, a 2023 University of Galway research paper found that their numbers are in stark decline.

This is due to cross-breeding with non-native imports, also known as hybridisation.

According to the research, the rate of hybridisation has risen from 5% to over 12% across a five-year period.

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To support the survival and prosperity of the insect, Britvic Ireland expanded long-flowering meadows on the site.

The company expanded them from just over 2,700 square metres to nearly 23,000 square metres.

It has allowed all meadows to grow year round, with overgrown shrubs cut back, to enable fresh growth and wildflower development.

The certification is an important step in Britvic Ireland’s drive for 100% sustainability.

It hopes to achieve this across the business under its ‘Healthier People, Healthier Planet’ strategy.

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‘Another Step’

Speaking about the certification, the managing director of Britvic Ireland, Kevin Donnelly, said, “Sustainability and biodiversity are central to our operations at Britvic Ireland.

“By its nature, Ballygowan has always been attuned to the importance of our environment, and, as a company, we recognise the critical role that biodiversity holds in contributing to our ecosystem.

“Without key pollinators, we would be without the fruits and flavours that are carefully crafted into some of our best-loved products.

“With this certification, we make another step of progress in our biodiversity commitment, with Ballygowan now recognised as the only bottled-water company in Ireland that has committed to being an Area of Conservation with the NIHBS, which we are very proud of.”

Read More: Britvic Reports Strong Performance In First Half Of Year

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