By Betsy Everett
Nine-year-old Caelan McCreadie, a pupil at Askrigg Church of England primary school, was buzzing with ideas when he set out to raise money for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
First, he recruited grandma, 85-year-old Pauline Moss, who knitted and crocheted hundreds of bee key rings, Christmas tree decorations and chocolate orange covers to help his fundraising activities.
Then he took a stall at the Askrigg, Bainbridge and West Burton PTFA Christmas Fair, selling Pauline’s unique creations, plus a range of bee-related products including locally-produced honey.
Not content with that, Caelan also enlisted the help of the Foxglove Covert nature reserve at Catterick Garrison, and the owners of Hamilton’s Tea Rooms at Aysgarth, to sell the knitted and crocheted bees. His efforts raised a magnificent £568.56.
So impressed with his efforts were the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, that they invited him to their offices at Stirling University where he presented a cheque to Claire Wales, their fundraising manager.
Caelan’s interest in saving the bees began as he watched them at work in the garden of his home in Askrigg, with mum and dad, Nicola and Andrew: Nicola is a former lecturer in animal science and Andrew has a background in environmental science.
“We encourage Caelan to be curious about nature, and he decided to do the fundraising himself after watching the bees, and then us discussing their decline, and in some cases extinction, as a result of habitat loss, pollution and disease,” said Nicola.