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Buglife Timeline

The conservation movement grew during the 1990s, and there was no organisation specialising in invertebrates. As we know, these are the small things that run the world, so this was a serious omission. This was brought sharply into focus by the creation of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan in 1994, when no organisation existed to fly the flag for invertebrate – to make sure their conservation needs were being looked after. A Feasibility Committee was established to look at the details of setting up an invertebrate conservation body, and ‘A Statement of Need for a New Organisation was produced. Twenty of the leading conservation organisations (including the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts) acknowledged that the conservation movement lacked a major spokesman for invertebrate conservation, and welcomed the establishment of Buglife.

 

Buglife achievements A summary of key achievements from 2000 to present day:

 

Date

Achievement

Impact

2000

December

The Invertebrate Conservation Trust registered as a company.

The first body to bring together and represent everything concerning invertebrates.

2002

February

First staff employed.

Delivery action starts

May

Name changed to Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust.

Buglife is born

2003

May

Canvey Wick full page article on Page 3 of the Guardian, which led to its designation as a Site Special Scientific Interest due to its importance for invertebrates .

See Feb 2005 for outcome. (EEDA withdraw planning application and commit to developing a new wildlife friendly development proposal).

July

Buglife raises alarm that the Ragwort Bill aims to eradicate Ragwort – the exclusive home of 30 bug species.

Defra amends draft Bill so that it no longer authorises the eradication of Ragwort and the 30 species of insect that live on it.

2004

April

Official launch of Buglife.

 

May 

Managing Priority Habitats for Invertebrates CD released.

Used widely by land managers to improve the management of invertebrate habitats, highlighted in HoC by the environment minister as a best practice guide.  Funded by Defra and referred to by minister in House of Commons debate.

July

31% of MSPs sign up to Buglife’s motion asking for Aucheninnes Moss to be saved from destruction.

See December 2009 for achievement.

July

Ragwort Code produced containing bug friendly measures.

Ragwort and dependent bugs not eradicated.  Decision makers able to refer to importance of plant to biodiversity when deciding not to waste tax payers money on removing it from public spaces and verges.

November

First four leaflets produced in celebrated invertebrate taxa series.

Thousand leaflet/posters circulated to schools, visitor centres, museums and other people.

2005

February

Canvey Wick designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest specifically for its invertebrates.

93 hectares site in South Essex protected for the wide diversity of invertebrates that live there. Surveys have shown Canvey Wick to have "more biodiversity per square foot than any other site in the UK".  Local people will have access to the site and be able to enjoy and learn about it.

February

Sale of Cypermethrin for use as a sheep dip suspended.

Billions of mayflies, shrimps, and other freshwater animals saved from death, rivers kept healthy for fish and people. (see March 2010).

March

Wording inserted in draft Clean Neighbourhoods Act to ensure that insects in the countryside are safe from being declared a public nuisance.

Disaster for populations of insects all over England and Wales narrowly averted.  A good example of Buglife acting in an ‘overarching capacity’ to protect insects.

2006

June

Scarlet malachite beetle on front cover of Independent newspaper.

Buglife raises awareness of the natural world.

August

Buglife complete ground breaking survey of English & Scottish Exposed Riverine Sediments for rare & threatened beetle and fly species. Raised awareness of this unusual & forgotten habitat.

87 rare and threatened species recorded and priority conservation species the Southern stiletto fly recorded for the first time in Scotland. 

2007

January

Buglife meet Prime Minister Blair as part of campaign to save West Thurrock Marshes.

See June 2009

February

Buglife establishes office and officer in Scotland.

Bugs represented by an advocate in Scotland.

June

New UKBAP Priority list produced including 431 invertebrate species and ‘Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land’.

Greater representation of invertebrate conservation interests in decision making.

June

Buglife bumblebee survey project.

Over 500 people trained to identify bumblebees at workshops in Essex and London.

September

‘Managing Coastal Soft Cliffs for Invertebrates’ project completed.

10,400 new records invertebrates generated. Stronger data for key sites and future problems scoped.

2008

February

Buglife takes protection of biodiversity on West Thurrock Marshes to the High Court, but application to revoke planning permission is dismissed.

See June 2009

March 

Bringing Aggregates Sites to Life – best practice habitat management guide produced.

Distributed to aggregates companies and bodies and used to develop restoration projects that benefit invertebrate biodiversity.

April

Buglife campaign in the national media results in protection for the Roman snail from taking and killing.

Collection of wild populations of Roman snail, sometimes to extinction, to supply the restaurant trade made illegal.

March

‘All of a Buzz in the Thames Gateway’ project completes mapping of 576 brownfield sites in London and the Thames Gateway 55% of area shown to have high biodiversity potential.

Importance of Thames Gateway brownfields for wildlife established

December

Buglife undertake a survey of invertebrates on South Georgia.

First Buglife project on a UK Overseas Territory.  New information about the distribution of introduced species.

2009

January

Scottish National Heritage and Buglife publish ’A Strategy for Scottish Invertebrate Conservation’ the first National Strategy for Invertebrate Conservation in Europe.

Decision makers in Scotland acknowledge and use recommendations in the Strategy. See ‘2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity’ produced by the Scottish Government.

June

Buglife awarded the Conservation Award in the National Observer Ethical Awards for our ‘Fighting to Save West Thurrock Marshes’ campaign.

West Thurrock Marshes court case successful in establishing the importance of conserving biodiversity in the planning system and pioneers cost protection for charities taking legal action to protect wildlife.  Campaign successful in raising awareness about the critical importance of some brownfield sites for biodiversity.

September

Buglife presents ‘The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on bumblebees, Honey bees and other non-target invertebrates’ to Number 10, Downing Street

A number of scientists are motivated by our report to investigate the impacts of Neonicotinoids on pollinators.  This new science proves key to subsequent decision by the EC to suspend neonicotinoid use announced in 2013.

November

Invertebrates protected by Marine Act

Buglife raised the scope of the Act in a HoL debate and the wording was changes to make it clear that invertebrates were protected by the legislation.

December

Aucheninnes Moss saved from being turned into a landfill site.  After a long campaign (started in 2003)

Shanks and Local Authority baulked at destroying the last site in Scotland for the Bog bush cricket and Sorrel pygmy moth.  Local people supported Buglife campaign and retained their local wildlife site.

December

Planning for Brownfield Biodiversity report produced.

Awareness of brownfield conservation issues raised.  Practical solutions proposed.

2010

March

Wildlife destroying sheep dip (Cypermethrin) finally withdrawn.

Billions of mayflies, shrimps, and other freshwater animals safe from death, rivers kept healthy for fish and people.

March

Conservation Regulations amended to make the selling of EU protected species in the UK illegal

Buglife identified a loophole in the legislation in 2003 – traders were using the UK as a base to sell animal specimens that had been caught illegally on the continent.  Buglife raised the issue with the UK Government who refused to act and then with the EC who took the UK to court, after the UK lost the case the legislation was amended – trade in EU endangered species is now illegal in the UK.

October

Habitat creation and management on brownfield sites in Northern England begins.

Better habitats for brownfield bugs.

November

Translocation of threatened White-clawed crayfish to save havens (Ark-sites).

Start of series of projects that have saved several populations from their local extinction

2011

March

Buglife complete a project on 'The ecological status of ditch systems'. Surveying over five hundred ditches in the most important coastal grazing marsh areas of Wales and England.

Over 500 ditches surveyed, produced a series of reports and advice sheets that have influenced the surveying and management of ditches in England and Wales.

March

'A Review of the Impact of Artificial Light on Invertebrates' report produced.

Articles produced in lighting industry journals and light pollution issues covered by radio and TV interviews.  Greater awareness of issues such as artificial light pollution at night and the reflection of polarised light from shiny surfaces.

April

Buglife launch national ‘Oil Beetle Hunt’.

Members of the general public learn to spot oil beetles and submit new records.

May

Buglife launched the 'Get Britain Buzzing' campaign. Aiming to get people to take action to help conserve pollinators.

Developed local projects and created wildflower habitats in urban environment through 'Get Glasgow Buzzing' project.

May

Launched 'B-Lines' with a Yorkshire pilot project to create wildflower meadows across the landscape in a linear network.

Demonstrated a practical way to put wildlife, particularly pollinators, back into the countryside and inspired 10 farmers to create or restore flower rich grassland in Yorkshire.

June

Buglife and Living Roofs have constructed five 'brown roofs' on buildings across London.

Examples provided of how roofs can help to conserve biodiversity.

July

Buglife influences development of the National Planning Policy Framework, helping to block a move to insert a develop ‘brownfield first’ policy.

Final policy maintains a merits based approach and does not prioritise the untempered destruction of brownfield sites

July

Following Buglife and Conchological Society campaign three Special Areas of Conservation designated for the Little whirlpool ramshorn snail

Three site given the highest level of nature conservation protection specifically to save one of our most endangered snails.

2012

January

Buglife Scotland launch Marvellous Minibeasts Education Pack for children aged 8 to 11 years.

Teachers and children have access to bug related education materials

March

Buglife opens South West office in Plymouth.

Bugs with representation in SW England

April

Buglife produce guidance on 'Creating Living Roofs for Invertebrates'.

Disseminated to practitioners and Local Authorities.

August

Buglife run identification workshops in Scotland.

Buglife engage and train many people in the identification of under-represented invertebrate species.

October

Buglife hold first ever Conference on Management of Brownfield sites for wildlife.

Attended by 100 delegates -entomologists, planners, councils, academics etc.

November

Chief Executive Officer, Matt Shardlow, gave evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on Insects and Insecticides.

See April 2013 when EU impose 2 year restriction on neonicotinoids.

2013

January

Buglife establishes first project in Wales – on brownfield sites.

Brownfield conservation work initiated in Wales..

April

EU impose a two-year restriction on neonicotinoids - and the UK cannot opt out.

This measure helps to protect the environment and should contribute significantly to protecting populations of pollinators and our food supply.

May

Buglife get first bug reserve - Canvey Wick Nature Reserve, with RSPB and Land Trust

Site managed for the benefit of all invertebrates, with accessible interpretation explaining site’s important for invertebrates.

June

Ground-breaking State of Nature Report launched on the International Day for Biological Diversity. Stock take by 25 wildlife organisations, reveals that 2 out of 3 insects are declining.

Report influences decision makers and becomes rapidly adopted as a measure of the health of the countryside.

July/Aug

First Buglife project on Isle of Man - Soft Rock Survey.

Will lead to improved management by the landowners (Council and Wildlife Trust) for invertebrates.

September

‘All of a Buzz in the Thames Gateway’ report revisited - over a six-year period 51% of nearly 200 important brownfield sites have been lost, damaged or are in immediate threat.

Report provides conclusive evidence of damage to wildlife from current planning policy as it relates to brownfield habitats

October

B-Line projects active or funded across Northern and SW England.

Concept of B-Lines becomes more widely accepted.

November

Report produced by the Environmental Funders Network shows that sector gives Buglife the highest impact per pound of any independent environmental charity, twice as high as the next such charity.

.

Report, which was based on results from a questionnaire given to environmental CEOs, provides evidence of Buglife’s effectiveness, popularity and partnerability.

2014

January

New corporate strategy launched “Bugs United”

New focus on pollinators and freshwater life.

April

Buglife launches our Pollinator Manifesto in the House of Commons.

MPs and others presented with clear plan to save pollinators.

April

Campaign and petition persuades Ebay to remove illegal insecticides.

Less harmful and unregulated pesticide use.

May-July

The Tansy beetle was reintroduced to Wicken Fen, Ladybird spider introduced to site managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and a new Ark site established for White-clawed crayfish from the River Allen

New homes established for disappearing species.

May-July

Buglife surveys re-discover the Pashford pot beetle and Royal splinter cranefly, both considered potentially extinct.

Importance of expert survey work emphasised and hope for future of two species.

June

Great British Bee Count launched with Friends of the Earth and B&Q, accruing 800,000 records of Bees from 23,000 people.

23,000 people engage more with bees and pollinator conservation.

July

Syngenta and NFU’s application to the Government for a ban busting derogation withdrawn after Buglife and 38-Degrees petition raised over 200,000 signatures in just a few days

British agricultural pollinators not exposed to neonicotinoids in Oilseed rape flowers.

September

The first National Bug Reserve at Canvey Wick opened by our Vice President Steve Backshall managed in partnership with the Land Trust and the RSPB. 

Dozens of rare and endangered invertebrate species have a place of refuge

2015

April

First invertebrate identification guide for St Helena produced.

UKOT with many endemic species now has a guide to invertebrates.

May

BBC Wildlife Magazine Wildlife Power List includes our CEO Matt Shardlow (at number 13) and our Vice-President Steve Backshall (at 11)

Recognition of high impact of Buglife on improving the environment for wildlife.

May-Aug

The Hairy Balloon-head spider (Minicia marginella) discovered on upland mire in Northumberland only second site in the UK.

First Welsh population of the Blue ground beetle discovered.

Bordered brown lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) rediscovered on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.  It had not been seen in the UK for over 25 years and it  was feared that it had been wiped out by fires.

New hope for endangered species.

June

Planning application on Radford quarry refused following 10,000 people signing Buglife petition to save the Horrid ground weaver

Globally endangered spider species saved

June

New wild colonies of the Wart-biter cricket and Ladybird spider established.

New homes established for disappearing species.

September

Buglife’s Freshwater Strategy launched on World Rivers Day.

Eight principles set out that if applied will lead to securing populations of freshwater invertebrates and their habitats.

October

Fannyside Muir: Restoration project on degraded peat bog in the Central Belt of Scotland.  1000 dams installed on of the bog.

c.100ha of peatland rewetted and recovering

October

Oral evidence given to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, on the ethics of genetically modified insects and their potential impact upon the environment. 

Risks and benefits of GM insects highlighted and discussed.

November

Urban Buzz project launched in Birmingham. A £1 million pollinator conservation project chiefly funded by Biffa Awards and Garfield and Weston that will create bee and pollinator habitat in eight cities.

Plan to create 800 pollinator hotspots, recruit and train 800 Urban Buzzers - key volunteers supporting site development, and engage 80,000 local people in the design of their local Buzzing Hotspots

November

Buglife attends EU Conference on Habitats Directive and proposes an EU Pollinator Initiative.

Later adopted into the EC work plan.

2016

January

Completed West Glamorgan Stepping Stones project on coalfields in South Wales.

43ha of habitat restored and enhanced providing refuges for wildlife and recreation, linked to area’s industrial history.

February

Horrid groundweaver discovered on new site in Plymouth and world’s first photos and videos of the animal taken.

Globally endangered spiders a little more secure.

April

New campaign on biosecurity within the pot plant trade - coverage on Countryfile and Gardeners Question Time.  Arrival of the Obama worm in a pot plant highlights poor pot plants importation biosecurity.

First steps towards improving biosecurity and slowing down the arrival rate of new harmful invasive species.

May

Buglife undertakes and produces a review of the implications of Brexit during the campaign, highlighting the importance of the EU for conserving bugs.

Public more informed of wildlife implications of referendum vote.

June

B-Lines mapping completed along Eastern side of England with funding from Anglian Water and Natural England. Scheme awarded the European Bee Award by the European Landowners Organisation.

Growing presence and recognition of B-Lines as the template for restoring wild flower grasslands.

August

NFU and Buglife raise concerns that the National Pollinator Strategy may fail due to a lack of commitment to a new national pollinator monitoring scheme.

UK National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme secures Government funding.

September

State of Nature 2nd report launched with partners.

 

Showed that the proportion of species declining continues to be unsustainable.  Nearly 60% of invertebrate species are declining , higher than other taxonomic groups. 

September

Buglife’s first farm adviser helps farmers contribute to deliver B-Line habitat in Kent and Sussex.

17 landowners advised and 10 applications for Countryside Stewardship submitted.

October

Established first Buglife presence in Northern Ireland with two staff on a job-share

Pollinator and invertebrate conservation issues progressed in NI.

October

Species Champions initiatives now established in Scotland Wales and England. -In Scotland there five MSPs are Species Champions for invertebrates: the Bog sun-jumper spider, the Bordered lacewing, the Northern red stonefly, the Red mason bee and the Freshwater pearl mussel.

In England 4 MPs are Champions for invertebrate species: the Long-horned mining bee, Tansy beetle, Horrid ground-weaver and Violet click-beetle. 

In Wales we secured our first species AM champion of the Black oil beetle.

Species being talked about more by politicians and the sense of national ownership of wildlife fostered.

2017

February

Buglife Scotland’s 10th Anniversary marked by a motion in the Scottish Parliament.

Increased awareness of our work and aims.

February

Back from the Brink Project initiated - £7million joint project to save species with Natural England, the RSPB, Plantlife, Butterfly Conservation, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Bat Conservation.

Development phase funded by the Heritage Lottery Including a major new deadwood habitat initiative to benefit priority invertebrate species as well as lichens, fungi and mosses dependent on deadwood habitats.

 

 

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