Buglife Scotland has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £40,600.00 for an exciting heritage project, West Lothian’s B-Lines. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, alongside extra funding of £12,000 from West Lothian Council, the project will work closely with the council, local community groups and schools to create accessible, wildflower-rich green spaces across West Lothian for the benefit of both people and pollinators. The project will run for two years from 1st June 2019 until 31st April 2021.
West Lothian B-Lines project will see the creation of 7 species-rich wildflower meadows across West Lothian, resulting in enhanced habitat connectivity along the route of the recently-mapped West Lothian B-Line. Community groups, schools and local residents will also be invited to take part in the project through a range of fun and enjoyable events including wildflower planting days, bug walks and pollinator identification and survey workshops. The improved habitat will ultimately result in healthier functioning ecosystems for the benefit of wildlife, especially pollinating insects, as well as providing a wealth of benefits for people.
Buglife is the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, and we are particularly concerned with the decline in pollinators and the diverse wildflower habitats which support them. Over 3,000,000 hectares of flower rich grassland has been lost in the UK since World War Two.
West Lothian has seen a significant loss of species-rich grassland, with most grassland in West Lothian’s urban greenspace currently managed strictly for amenity use, thus supporting very little biodiversity. The West Lothian B-Lines project has a vision to help reverse this trend by transforming intensively managed amenity grassland into colourful species-rich habitats and thus more healthy functioning ecosystems.
Commenting on the award, Joanna Lindsay, Conservation Officer for Buglife Scotland said: “We are thrilled to have received this support for a B-Lines project in West Lothian thanks to National Lottery players. The project will not only create vital habitat to boost our pollinator populations but will also benefit local communities, who will be able to enjoy the enriched green spaces and improve their health and wellbeing as a result.”
West Lothian Council’s Open Space Officer, Becky Plunkett, said: “This is fantastic news for West Lothian, as we are committed to improving biodiversity in our parks and greenspaces, as well as providing more landscape interest and informal learning opportunities for local residents. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Buglife on this project, to achieve our aims.”
Ríona McMorrow, Acting Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland, said: “Our natural heritage is a most precious resource and, thanks to National Lottery players, The National Lottery Heritage Fund grants have helped to protect an amazing range of landscapes, habitats, and species of plants and animals. We are delighted to support West Lothian B-Lines that will stimulate people’s interest in the natural world and so help them conserve it for future generations.”