Harry Redknapp urges Great British sports fans to save the bumblebees

Football legend and king of the jungle Harry Redknapp has joined forces with Sports Direct to help save bumblebees from extinction. Within the UK, two important bumblebee species are already extinct, eight are in need of urgent help and we have lost 97% of the grasslands that bumblebees rely on to pollinate crops. Yet around one-third of the food that we eat ultimately relies on pollinators like bumblebees to help to produce it.

Hence this spring, Sports Direct is proudly supporting the Bumblebee Conservation Trust by giving 1.5million wildflower seed papers away. These have tiny seeds embedded within them and are easy for anyone to plant.

Sports Direct is launching a national awareness campaign in conjunction with Harry, who is urging great British sports fans to get involved by planting wildflowers that bumblebees need to survive.

Harry’s voice is heard telling fans in a series of catchy ads: “There’s a national team we’ve all forgotten to chant for … they are buzzing for growth … so help us to grow wildflowers across the country!”

Sports Direct has rebranded its ionic 20oz giant mugs and its colourful bags-for-life in order to ‘Save the Bumblebees’. The retailer is giving away a mini-booklet with three free sheets of seed paper with every mug or bag that customers purchase. Mugs are priced at £2, bags are £1.50.

The seed papers are biodegradable and have the perfect blend of daisies and poppies for bumblebees to help pollination. Simply moisten and cover in soil and let nature do the rest!

Harry said: “Great British sports fans, there’s a great national team we’ve all forgotten to chant for. Inspired by our roaring A-teams, they are now buzzing for growth. All they need is the support of their twelfth man.

“So this spring, Sports Direct are backing the black and yellow. Help us to grow flowers across the country by planting over one and a half million seeded papers. Grab our ‘Bee edition’ mug and bag in store and take one for the bee team.”


First and foremost, they have far fewer flowers to feed from – in the UK, we have lost 97% of flower-rich grasslands since the 1940s. Changes in the way we manage our countryside and the demand for cheap food means that farming is more intensive now, with less room for wildflowers. Combine this with other pressures like climate change, urban development, pesticide usage, parasites and diseases, and it’s a recipe for disaster for bumblebees and other insects.


It is estimated that 1/3rd of the mouthfuls of food on your plate comes from crops pollinated by insects, of which bumblebees are some of the main contributors. Throughout the pollination of many commercial crops, including tomatoes, peas, apples, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, insects are estimated to contribute over £600 million per year to the UK economy. The UK currently has 24 native species of bumblebees. Unfortunately, two species have already been declared extinct in the UK and a further eight species are in need of urgent of health. The latest figures show that even our most common species are declining.


Bees need flowers to survive! Sports Direct is including wildflower seed papers in packs for customers when you purchase a Save the Bumblebees mug or bag. The seed papers contain poppy and ox-eye daisy seeds. Simply soak them in water overnight and cover them with a thin layer of soil and keep moist. If planting in pots only use one seed paper per pot.


Avoid the use of unnatural chemicals like synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides, as these can be harmful to bees. Instead, try physically removing pests, using barriers to deter them or opting for organic pesticide options. The best time to spray these is at night when bees and other pollinators are less active. You could try leaving all or a section of the lawn to grow wild. Many insects spend winter in long grass and your lawn can provide food for bumblebees in the spring sand summer if you allow species often seen as ‘weeds’ to flower.


Utilising window boxes or flower pots outside means that even without a garden you can help save the bumblebees.

  • For more information on bee-friendly plants, head to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website and check out their free tool online at bumblebeeconservation.org

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