Guest blog by Climate Action North
We all know that wild pollinators are in trouble with UK bee, butterfly, and moth species in decline.
The Climate Action North Pollinator Parks initiative aims to redress this by transforming outdoor areas on retail and business parks into ecological oases to help bees, butterflies and birds thrive and flourish.
The initiative was launched at the North East Business Innovation Centre (BIC), which is on the Buglife B-Lines in North England, in Spring 2019 when a volunteer group created two small gardens and a mini-meadow, planting around 35 different species of British native ‘pollinator-friendly’ wildflowers including Red Campion, Moth Mullien, Primrose, Oxeye Daisy, Basil, and Dandelion. Two bird boxes were also installed in nearby trees and within a month of doing so a family of Blue Tits moved in and successfully nested.
The area is now established as a safe haven for the struggling insect populations; the perennials are flowering really well each year, and the unmown mini-meadow saw six Bee Orchids naturally bloom.
Our next Pollinator Parks project will see over 250 wildflower plants suitable for bees, butterflies and birds planted at County Durham’s shopping and leisure outlet, Dalton Park, in the first of a series of projects to create outdoor spaces on the retail park, helping a wide range of species thrive and flourish.
The move to introduce a mini-meadow on Dalton Park, which welcomes over 3.5 million visitors per year and is home to over 70 stores as well as a large food offering and seven-screen cinema, follows research by Butterfly Conservation outlining the importance of butterflies on site at Dalton Park including the Dingy Skipper, Common Blue and Grayling.
We all have a clear responsibility to nurture biodiversity and we are helping to do that by creating safe spaces for a wide range of species. Our Pollinator Parks initiative is a fantastic example of small-scale rewilding and demonstrates how we can practically support and care for our wildlife and repair broken ecosystems.
The Pollinator Parks initiative is sponsored by Climate Action North’s sponsors, IT company Resilient Business Systems and Solar Panel installers AR Power. To find out more visit www.climateactionnortheast.org.uk