Bee Coalition welcomes Government’s public ‘Call to Action’

Friday 18th July 2014

Members of the Bee Coalition today (Friday 18 July) welcome the Government’s public ‘Call to Action’ to help reverse the decline of bees and other pollinating insects by helping meet their needs for food and a home. The call comes ahead of the Government launching its final National Pollinator Strategy in autumn this year.

On Friday 18th July, Environment Department DEFRA launches a public and practical Call to Action in support of Britain’s bees and to help people know what they can do to play their part in reversing bee and pollinator decline.

The Bee Coalition hopes the announcement will help to mobilise the public in taking practical action to protect Britain’s bees by planting wildflowers, conserving their local meadows and green spaces and avoiding use of garden chemicals. These are important steps in providing good natural habitat for pollinators, which has become increasingly fragmented through the intensification of British agriculture and urban development.

Craig Macadam of Buglife, a member of the Bee Coalition said: “The Bee Coalition welcomes this call to action as a first step to everyone being able to help pollinators, starting by growing plants bees need for food and avoiding using garden chemicals. Now we need Defra to set out clear plans to ensure all sectors, from farming to town planning, play their part. We have been helping the bees minister to draw up a national strategy to end bee and pollinator decline. We hope this national strategy will provide a strong basis for further action. The public knowing its role in this is crucial.”

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Nick Mole of Pesticide Action Network UK, a member of the Bee Coalition said: “The Bee Coalition supports this timely call to action. There’s plenty people can do to help bees. Avoiding using chemicals is as important as growing the right plants because of the strong links between using pesticides and harm to bees and other vital pollinating insects.”

Emma Hockridge of Soil Association, a member of the Bee Coalition said: While the public can do a lot to help in their gardens, farmers are responsible for the state of our countryside and until they stop using pesticides which kill insects including bees and other pollinators, we aren’t going to solve this problem.”

Steve Trent of the Environmental Justice Foundation, a member of the Bee Coalition said “We welcome Defra’s Call to Action, which provides important advice on how individuals can help improve British Bee habitat. We would also urge further attention to be given to reducing the use of damaging pesticides known to be harmful to bee health, both in the agricultural sector and domestically. We will only be able to solve pollinator declines effectively by addressing pesticide use alongside providing better habitat for bees.”