An ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects has been launched today by Buglife with funding from Defra. Gloucestershire B-Lines aims to connect the county’s best remaining wildlife sites through targeted wildflower habitat creation, linking the north to the south, east to the west 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.
Gloucestershire 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.
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 the recovery of our pollinator populations 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.”
Gary Kennison, Principal Ecologist at Gloucestershire County Council said “The County Council was very pleased to have been involved in defining these wildlife corridors. They will be a useful focus for us, our partners and communities in trying to help our pollinating insects recover and expand across Gloucestershire and beyond.”
Matt Whitney, Manager of the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership said “Connecting and enhancing Gloucestershire’s habitats through partnership projects such as B-Lines is vital to halt declines in biodiversity, without which the natural environment would be unable to deliver the ecosystem services we all rely on. Well done Buglife!”
Earthgames.uk are launching their “Save the Planet Through Gaming” project in conjunction with Buglife including a pollinator element. Young people (6 to 11) learn oodles about ecology and making exciting games. They can learn SCRATCH programming through our courses or board game design; either way it is fun! Most importantly there is a great competition with more than £1000 of prizes to win. It all kicks off on the 7th May and is FREE – Earthgames.uk