Buglife receives grant of £170,200 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Wednesday 28th July 2021

  • Buglife’s new North Cornwall B-Lines project will work with landowners and local communities to restore wildflower-rich grasslands in three areas of the North Cornwall coast – helping the recovery of some of the UK’s most threatened bee species
  • 90 projects awarded grants to accelerate the implementation of nature-based projects, from new ‘insect pathways’ in our countryside and towns, to tree planting projects in deprived urban areas
  • Second funding round of Green Recovery Challenge Fund backed by £40 million, with over 1,000 jobs to be created or retained in England

Buglife’s ‘North Cornwall B-Lines – creating pathways for pollinators’ project has been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery

Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall, and combined with the first round, almost a million trees will be planted, contributing towards the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.

Buglife, which has been awarded a £170,200 grant through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, will deliver a new B-Lines project in North Cornwall.

Working with local landowners around Hayle & Gwithian, Perranporth & Holywell, and Padstow & Polzeath, the project will create or restore 20 hectares of wildflower-rich grassland, reconnecting remaining habitat and helping insects to move across the landscape and adapt to a changing environment. These habitat stepping-stones will help some of our most threatened bee species, including the Large scabious bee (Andrena hattorfiana) to recover. This large solitary bee is only known from a handful of sites in Cornwall, where it is entirely dependent on pollen from Field scabious flowers for its survival. By returning wildflowers such as Field scabious to the countryside, North Cornwall B-Lines will help safeguard these bees for the future.

The North Cornwall B-Lines project is part of Buglife’s national B-Lines programme aiming to re-connect our landscape and enable pollinators and other wildlife to move freely, and support nature recovery. B-Lines are 3km-wide insect pathways connecting the best remaining wildflower-rich habitats across the whole of the UK, from north to south and east to west.

The project will provide local communities with the opportunity to connect with their local nature, by providing opportunities for practical conservation volunteering, teaching people about the importance of pollinators and how to identify Cornwall’s threatened bees. The project will work with local schools to increase their knowledge of pollinators and to grow wildflower plants for use in restoring habitats. Community seed packs will also be available so that people can take part in their gardens too and help the wildlife on their doorstep.

North Cornwall B-Lines will also help inspire other local landowners and land managers to work towards the shared goal of helping their local pollinators, by running a series of workshops and one-to-one training, providing advice and guidance about managing land for pollinators and how to become part of the B-Line network.

Commenting on the award, Buglife Conservation Officer, Laura Larkin said:

“We are so excited to have been awarded this grant from DEFRA to deliver our first B-Lines project in Cornwall. In England alone we have lost over 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 1930s which has resulted in a serious decline in pollinating insects. Through an exciting partnership between local landowners and communities, the project will create a better-connected network of wildflowers, providing important habitat for threatened bee species and other pollinators, whilst helping to mitigate against climate change”.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies  The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said:

“The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.

“Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“From wetland restoration, to creating wildlife-rich habitat for bees, it is vital that we value, protect and rebuild our natural heritage. This new funding will not only allow projects to carry out direct conservation which is essential in protecting our biodiversity, but it will increase awareness of how and why we need to change our behaviours in order to protect our future.”

Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said:

“Our environmental and conservation charity sector does an incredible job in protecting, improving and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of communities and the economy.”