Endangered bumblebee population bouncing back and the 98-year-old French doctor still treating patients

Today’s #FourForApril is our penultimate one, but to say this has been enjoyable would be an understatement. There is so much kindness out there and news outlets are starting to openly report on it more which is so important. There’s lovely news from the National Trust that the population of the Shrill carder bee is starting to bounce back, whilst an inspiring 98-year-old French doctor is still seeing to patients.

In other positive news, the mayor of Lithuania has implemented measures that may help businesses as lockdown restrictions are easing in the country whilst Asda stepped up for a couple who had to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary apart.

I hope these stories add a sparkle to your day 💚

National Trust help endangered bumblebee population bounce back

The National Trust has helped an endangered species of bumblebee bounce back. (Pexels)

Lytes Cary Manor and estate in Somerset has been designated as one of two exemplary sites in England for the endangered Shrill carder bee.

RSPB’s Rainham Marshes site in Essex is another area where the bee population is starting to bounce back.

Following a decline since the 1950s, the bumblebee has been a priority species for conservation in England and Wales.

The Shrill carder bee was once widespread across southern England and the Welsh lowlands, with localised populations in central and northern England, but the species has been restricted to five isolated locations in the UK.  

Like many bumblebees, numbers of this small straw coloured bumblebee with distinctive black stripes, suffered due to the huge losses of flower rich habitats since the end of the second world war.   

Named after its high pitched buzz, the charismatic Shrill carder bee is part of the National Trust’s natural heritage and along with other species provides crucial pollination for crops that were conservatively valued at £430M by the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.

Up to 97 per cent of flower rich grasslands has been lost over the past 70 years including the wildlife, culture and history they sustained.

Since 2015 the National Trust has focused on restoring priority habitats such as flower rich meadows to countrysides which are crucial for pollinators and the wildlife they support.  

To date the conservation charity has created over 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) of flower rich grasslands as part of its strategy for nature’s recovery that will be key to reversing the impacts of climate change. 

Mark Musgrave, the National Trust’s Lead Ranger at Lytes Cary Manor said the work they did with volunteers included the planting out of hundreds of plugs of white dead nettle and comfrey by volunteers.  

John Butler, who has been a volunteer at Lytes Cary Manor since 2012, said: “It has been a fantastic project to be involved with.  I really hope this work will inspire others to play their part.”

You can read more about this great news here.

The 98-year-old French doctor still seeing patients

Doctors and nurses are nothing short of everyday heroes, even more so in this battle against COVID-19.

One doctor, 98-year-old Christian Chenay, has been just that, a hero, as he has still been caring for patients through the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost old enough to remember the 1918 Spanish flu, the French doctor treated typhus sufferers during World War Two, and has still been holding virtual consultations for patients.

Dr Chenay was holding these consultations over the phone and internet, but is back to making weekly visits to a retirement home for clergy after a brief spell in quarantine.

Last month he had to halt appointments in his surgery in Chevilly-Larue, a Paris suburb, after two patients turned aggressive, demanding he hand over his small supply of face masks.

It was soon afterwards he started to present symptoms of the coronavirus, so he put himself into a two-week long quarantine.

Dr Chenay has said he knows just how dangerous the coronavirus is for the elderly, including himself, but he has vowed that he could not turn his back on those that need help.

You can read more about the inspiring Dr Chenay here.

Lithuanian capital to be transformed to help businesses after lockdown

The Mayor of Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius, has announced a plan to help businesses still trade despite the implementation of physical distancing. (Peggy Marko, Pixabay)

Lithuania’s capital city has announced plans to give its public space to bars and cafes to allow them to remain open while adhering to physical distancing.

The plan for Lithuania’s capital, will see most of the city’s public space given to hard-hit bar and restaurant owners so they can put their tables outdoors and still observe physical distancing rules.

This week, Lithuania allowed cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating, hairdressers and almost all shops to begin reopening as part of a staged exit from lockdown.

Strict physical distancing rules and safety measures have remained however, with limits on the number of customers in shops at one time, and the mandatory wearing of masks in all public spaces.

A rule of cafe and restaurant tables needing to be placed at least two metres apart was also implemented posing a problem for many restaurateurs in Vilnius’ old town, but this prompted the mayor’s offer.

Vilnius’ authorities have also given the city’s public health workers €400,000-worth (£350,000) of restaurant vouchers intended both as gesture of thanks for their work and a much-needed stimulus to the city’s cafes.

You can read more about this great gesture from the mayor of Vilnius here.

Asda sends treats to couple spending 60th wedding anniversary apart

Asda has helped to spread some joy to a couple who have been unable to see each other due to the coronavirus lockdown. (Jill Wellington, Pexels)

Asda have helped to spread some joy to a couple who had to spend their diamond wedding anniversary apart because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The supermarket chain delivered special treats to Ken and Alice McGinley, from Johnstone, near Glasgow, who married 60 years ago.

Since Alice, who has dementia, moved into a care home last year, the pair have been living apart, but due to the lockdown imposed to help curb the spread of coronavirus, Ken has been unable to see his wife who he usually visited every day.

When Ken contacted his local Asda to try and order a cake to send to Alice to mark the occasion last Thursday, staff at the store went the extra mile in delivering it to Ken, free of charge.

The supermarket also sent Ken a separate cake of his own and a box of chocolates, a gesture he said left him feeling “overwhelmed”.

He told The Evening Standard: “It was such a surprise. It just made me and my daughter’s Louise’s day.”

Ken decided to donate the gifts to other residents in Cochrane Care Home, where Alice lives, so Louise took them along with the cake, candles and a card from Asda staff.

The care home also threw a celebration for Alice with the other residents.

Ken thanked the staff at the care home for looking after Alice and added: “I can’t wait to see her again when this thing is all over so we can celebrate properly.”

You can read more about this lovely gesture from Asda and their staff here.

Bonus positive:

The kindness displayed by this junior football club in Leeds 👏💚

Every day in April, we will be sharing four positive news stories in one post under the hashtag #FourForApril. Got any kindness stories? Send them in! We’d love the world to hear about these good deeds by good people 🙂

Thanks for reading one of our positive stories!

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