A 500-plant giveaway is being launched to help boost the Braintree district bee population.

Braintree Council and the Coggeshall based Dutch Nursery have joined forces to give away 500 plants as part of the ‘Bee Green-Hearted’ project.

Sponsored by the nursery, the scheme will see residents who sign up to the council’s E-contact newsletter receive a free plant to help encourage bees into their garden.

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, cabinet member for place, said: “Following recent reports about the diminishing bee population, this is a great opportunity for residents to help.

“It doesn't matter how big or small your garden is, the right plants can make a great difference and through signing up to our E-Contact newsletter you will be kept up to date with future information on projects of this nature.”

The offer will run until May 30 and is open to any resident over the age of 18, one per household.