Today Buglife, with funding from Defra, launches an ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects. Cheshire and Merseyside B-Lines aims to connect the county’s best remaining wildlife sites through targeted wildflower habitat creation, linking the hills 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.
Cheshire and Merseyside are some 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.”
Ben Deed from Merseyside Biobank LRC said: Pollinators are an integral part of healthy ecosystem but many species are in serious decline due to a range of pressures but not least the fragmentation and loss of wildflower habitat, a particular issue in our City environment. By looking at the local evidence for pockets of species and habitat the B-Lines project offers a strategy that can be adopted by planners and conservationists alike and which we can use to join up and target new habitat creation and pollinator projects across the region offering new corridors for species to move and re-populate areas where they have been in decline.
These new B-Lines offer hope that we can bring together high level decision takers with real, practical action on the ground to give us the best chance of both reversing declines and create lasting resilient pollinator highways that become permanent and lasting features bringing life back into our human built environment.