Pollination Garden project

Sustainable Pollinator Garden project

Establishing a sustainable pollinator garden and community in Dublin 15

February 2019 update

  1. Introduction
    1. About BTDG
    2. Project summary
    3. Current situation assessment
    4. Possible improvements
    5. Additional financing and partnerships
  2. Bee friendly polytunnel modification
    1. Positioning and setup
    2. Windows and meshes
    3. Colors and Light
    4. Sound
    5. Bee hotels
  3. New equipment and security
  4. Seeds and soil
  5. Groups of plants
  6. Community engagement
    1. Partners Men Shed Mulhuddart, Fingal Co Co, ……
    2. Taveller Families from local sites
    3. Local schools
    4. Social media engagement
  7. Trainings
    1. Documentation and online resource cloud
    2. CE Trainees
    3. Community Trainees
    4. Future course organisation
  8. Competitions and promotion
  9. Statistics and feedback platform



About BTDG

Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group was founded in 1992 by a number of local people who were concerned about living conditions of Travellers in the Blanchardstown area.

Principal objective

  • To combat the poverty experienced by Travellers
  • Promote the welfare and human rights of Travellers through the promotion of the recognition of Travellers as a nomadic ethnic group having its own distinctive culture and lifestyle
  • To encourage positive interaction between Travellers and the settled community

Subsidiary objectives

  • To make the settled community aware of the distinct culture of Travellers and their needs arising out of this and the difficulties and problems Travellers face from individuals and society
  • To be active in campaigning and lobbying for Travellers’ rights
  • To plan, implement, and administer projects that would enhance the circumstances of Travellers in the Blanchardstown area
  • To make links with such organizations and groups that share common interests in the welfare of Travellers as a nomadic ethnic group

BTDG has raised its profile in the community and built up a large team of wonderful people that do an amazing job day to day. Everyone has their individual role in this workplace that ensures everyone has their own part to play our family.


Project summary

Building and establishing a sustainable pollinator garden in our allotment in Powerstown, Dublin 15 following the All Ireland Pollinator plan 2015-2020. The project will engage the local Traveller families and educate them through family friendly events. This is a new project that will engage the Traveller community and from learning in our allotment equip them with knowledge and skill to replicate this on a pilot basis on 3 Travellers specific sites. By planting a pollinator friendly gardens we not only help provide safe shelter and food for the bees but also bring about behavioural, attitudinal and cultural change and enhance the community spirit.

This project consists of several segments:

  1. Polytunnel and garden built
  2. Management and maintenance
  3. CE staff training and data reporting
  4. Community events and trainings

Each segment needs to be well organised and monitored sharing the information with Actions for Pollinators and other projects in area.

  1. Polytunnel and garden build

Garden preparation and tunnel installation will assure most efficient distribution of flower and vegetable beds. They will be consisting of plants grouped in beds that flower simultaneously and located in the garden on specific places. Flowers attracting bigger pollinators like butterflies, bumblebees and moths will be located outside while bee friendly plants both in and outside the polytunnel. All work should consider flexibility for future upgrades like watering systems or humidity sensors. Beds and other garden furniture will be produced by our partner MenShed in Mulhuddart. Working areas will be set up in suitable fashion that enables production on a bigger scale so CE participants and community trainees have they own space.

  1. Management and maintenance

One person will be constantly dedicated to monitor the program. Weekly visits and online remote presence … Possible automation and a computer will make reporting faster and easier in future.

  1. CE Staff training

Individuals under CE scheme will undergo trainings to be able to maintain and train community members to reproduce smaller versions of the similar gardens on their property. Participants in the program will learn new skills and learn about pollination and importance of sheltering bees and other pollinators. Some participants will be trained for remote garden/greenhouse installation assistance. They will travel to the remote locations and help local residents in implementing and/or adopting pollinator friendly methods. Statistical data will be reported back to BTDG headquarters and Actions for Pollinator Ireland servers.


  1. Community events and trainings

We plan to engage several families living in the area in training and maintaining the allotment. Workshops will be organised by our traind CE participants and outside partners. The will train how build and maintain pollinator friendly environment,  to maintain good conditions for current habitat and care about the vegetation. Sprouting, weeding, watering and all other necessary activities will be done through several workshops. Open day events will be announced through social media channels and other projects and visitors will be welcome to come and share knowledge and experiences. Weekly updates of data and a video-log will be shared with our online followers. As part of open days events many surprises and gifts are planned.

Current situation assessment

The allotment is in a good state and ready for the new polytunnel to be installed. MenShed team is building additional raised beds, work benches, cabinets, shelves and compost boxes. Seeds are ordered and we are ready to start!


Possible improvements

  • Solar panel and batteries for energy storage
  • Security and greenhouse monitoring camera
  • Monitoring computer with RS232 port
  • Humidity and sun intensity sensors
  • Automatic statistical data publishing
  • Remote controlled watering system
  • Remote control windows

Additional financing and partnerships

  • Finding new project partners in area
  • Crowdfunding

Bee friendly polytunnel modification


Our Gardens and greenhouses will not use chemicals or any treatment that could harm bees, bumblebees, butterflies or other pollinators. Safe and easy access will be secured as bee-hotel units to attract more pollinator insects.

Bee friendly polytunnel modification – Positioning and setup

For the polytunnel to be bee friendly it must be bee-accessible. For  that reason we are building in windows and meshes that will allow them safe and easy access to the plants and flowers inside,

The tunnel needs to be positioned so there is enough space to install flower beds on the sides. The flower beds on the sides will attract pollinators closer to the greenhouse and in to it.

The flowers will be organised in grouse so the ones that attract smaller insects that can access the greenhouse tunnel through the mesh will be placed next to the meshes. The meshes will be colored accordingly: Purple – bees

The other flowers that attract for example bumblebees, butterflies and moths will be placed on a special outside area dedicated for bigger insect pollination.

Bee friendly polytunnel modification – Windows and meshes

As mentioned the windows and doors for bees access will be placed on the sides. The meshes will be colored violet to attract bees.  The side windows will enable controlled opening and closing for maintaining a stable climate in the greenhouse and/or access of pollinators.

Bee friendly polytunnel modification – Colors and Light

  • Bees are attracted to bright blue and violet colors.
  • Bees love ultra-violet lights
  • Butterflies enjoy bright colors such as yellow, orange, pink and red..

Bee friendly polytunnel modification – Sound

Bees seem to produce low-frequency sounds with their wings during several of their dances, to add extra information perhaps. These noises are quiet and on the low-end of the human hearing range (unlike their normal buzzing, which is just the sound of their wings and is not communication). They can’t hear sound in the air, but can hear vibrations through the hive walls, and do communicate in this way. In future we might test this  

Bee friendly polytunnel modification – Bee hotels

Bee hoels and custom wooden element will be built in Men Shed Mulhuddart. They are working vlosely with us for several years and we highly recomend them.

New equipment and security

Site needs to be secured and monitored. All  tools need to be stored in the storage shed.

Possible future upgrades

  • Solar panel and batteries for energy storage
  • Security and greenhouse monitoring camera
  • Monitoring computer with RS232 port
  • Humidity and sun intensity sensors
  • Automatic statistical data publishing

Seeds and soil


Garden Plants Herbs
Gourds Peppers
Wild Garlic
Bee Balm
Butterfly Bush
Button Bush
Indigo Privet


Bumble Bees outside













Cosmos – Hollyhook


Sowing groups of plants

Community engagement


Competitions and promotion

Statistics and feedback platform