Today Buglife with funding from Defra, launches an ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects. Hampshire and Isle of Wight 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.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight 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.”
Councillor Edward Heron, Executive Member for Countryside and Rural Affairs at Hampshire County Council, said: “Buglife’s B-Lines complements the work that Hampshire County Council is doing to support our declining insect pollinators particularly on our rural estate and where they feature along our highways. The Hampshire Ecological Network Map, together with the emerging Hampshire Pollinator Strategy and changes to the way our road verges are being cut will all play a part in ensuring, where possible, land owned or controlled by Hampshire County Council will be managed for the maximum benefit of pollinator species. Additionally, we will seek to influence pollinator-friendly land management with our partners and other land managers.”
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are delighted to have been able to input into Buglife’s B-Line Project. We look forward to working alongside them delivering work to aid pollinating insects, restoring wildflower rich habitats, linking key sites and creating corridors for wildlife to expand and thrive.