Today Buglife with funding from Defra, launches an ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects. Berkshire B-Lines aims to connect the county’s best remaining wildlife sites through targeted wildflower habitat creation, linking the levels to the coast and towns to the countryside.
Buglife has worked with the local authorities and other partners to map out a network of potential wildflower habitat – called B-Lines, and are now inviting farmers, landowners and the public to get involved in creating new pollinator habitat, and practically restoring wildflower-rich grasslands.
Bees and other pollinators are disappearing from our countryside because of a lack of wildflower-rich habitats. Three million hectares, 97%, of the UK’s wildflower-rich grasslands have been lost since the 1930s. Creating pollinator habitat along B-Lines will help wildlife move across our countryside, saving threatened species and making sure that there are plenty of pollinators out there to help us grow crops and pollinate wildflowers.
Berkshire is just one of the counties recently mapped leading to the completion of the England B-lines network, enabling Buglife’s vision of a river of wildflowers across the UK to be realised. The next step will be getting wildflower restoration and creation happening across the country.
Catherine Jones from Buglife said “B-Lines provide an exciting opportunity for everyone to support our struggling insect pollinators. By working together to create a network of wildflower-rich habitats, we can support healthy populations of bees and other pollinators enabling them respond to threats such as climate change.”
Sam Cartwright from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust said ‘Insect abundance has plummeted in recent years and a step-change is needed in how we target our collective efforts to restore their numbers. This network of B-Lines will help to prioritise local action for pollinating insects in the places where it will be most beneficial. Crucially, these B-Lines will also contribute to Berkshire’s wider nature recovery network.’