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It’s going to start buzzing in Birmingham

Biffa, Buglife, Birmingham, Bees, Bristol a lot of b’s all add up to Urban Buzz, an eight city project to create habitat for pollinators.  Today Buglife are launching this ambitious new program of activity that will work with local people in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Plymouth and York to design and deliver flower rich areas to benefit bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Work here in Birmingham will start next month, led by your newly appointed Project Office Nick Packham. The whole project will run over three years with each urban centre receiving 18 months of intensive support thanks to generous grant fund from Biffa Award of over £1 million, support from Birmingham Council along with sizeable contributions from other funders both nationally and locally.

The first phase of the Urban Buzz will see project officers consulting with the residents of Birmingham, Cardiff, Plymouth and York on the best places for pollinators and the best places to create new flower rich areas in order to enhance the cities. This initial work will be followed by intensive seed sowing and plug planting to create lush, vibrant flower rich swards.

Nick, Buglife’s Birmingham Urban Buzz Officer commented “This project is the biggest scale urban based project for UK bees and will help create a template that can be repeated across the entire United Kingdom helping to secure a long term future for our vital pollinators. Today the urban environment provides one of the mainstays for our pollinators but increased concreting over of garden and brownfield space is putting increasing strains on species survival, the Urban Buzz will help redress the balance in favour of our pollinating friends who freely contribute £0.6 billion per annum to the UK farming industry.”

Gillian French, Head of Grants, Biffa Award “We’re really buzzing about this project to engage people with wildlife in urban areas. Pollinators are vital in any ecosystem and we’re really proud to be supporting this essential conservation work. The team at Buglife have grand plans, and we’re pleased that the Landfill Communities Fund can be used to help them achieve their ambitions.”

Councillor Lisa Trickett, Cabinet member for Sustainability for Birmingham City Council, said "I am delighted Birmingham is one of the pioneering cities involved in the Urban Buzz programme to demonstrate how simple changes to land management can help provide food and shelter for bees and other pollinators. We will be working with local communities and partners to develop two areas: the Urban Wellbeing Park in Erdington, linking Sutton Park National Nature Reserve with Spaghetti Junction, and the A38 corridor between Northfield and the city centre – to create significant stretches of wildflower meadows to encourage and support pollination.”

For more information please contact Nick Packham on nick.packham@buglife.org.uk or 07464 828623

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