An ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects has been launched today by Buglife. The Devon B-Lines mapping, funded by Defra, aims to connect some of the county’s best remaining wildlife sites through targeted wildflower habitat creation, linking the moors 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 is 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.
Devon 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 to get wildflower restoration and creation happening across the country.
Hayley Herridge from Buglife said “This is an exciting opportunity for people to help our struggling insect pollinators. If we establish a network of wildflowers across our landscape, we can support healthy populations of bees and other pollinators enabling them respond to threats such as climate change.”
“If you have land which you are interested in restoring to wildflower-rich grassland, or if you would like to get involved in other ways, please get in touch– we’d love to hear from you.”
Sarah Jennings, County Ecologist at Devon County Council said “We all rely on pollinators and know that we need to take urgent action to help restore their habitats across Devon. B-lines help us take forward the Get Devon Buzzing initiative as part of a network of action across England. B-lines will also form part of the wider Devon nature recovery network map which is being developed by the Devon Local Nature Partnership.”
Ed Parr Ferris, Conservation Manager at Devon Wildlife Trust said “Devon desperately needs to recover its lost nature, both for its own sake but also for all the services nature provides for us, like pollination and carbon storage. B-Lines identifies key networks where wildflower-rich restoration will be beneficial and is one part of a wider network being developed to restore nature, called the Devon Nature Recovery Network. I would encourage everyone to get out and restore existing wildlife habitats and create new native wildlife habitat.”
Richard Knott, Ecologist at Dartmoor National Park said “The project demonstrates how Dartmoor’s wildflower-rich grassland habitats, already the focus for local projects such as ‘Moor Meadows’, are contributing as part of this wider network through Devon and beyond”