An ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects has been launched today by Buglife with funding from Defra. Somerset 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.
Somerset 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 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.”
Simon Clarke, Head of Conservation at Somerset Wildlife Trust said ‘Over the last six months Somerset Wildlife Trust and SERC have been working hard with a range of partners and communities to develop a vision for natures recovery in Somerset. We are using B-Lines mapping as one of the main landscape corridors and data layers in plotting where this network will be developed in Somerset and beyond its borders. At such a challenging time we know that many people are seeing the huge benefits that nature and being out in nature bring to their health and wellbeing and the development of landscape scale projects which communities can get involved in, like B-Lines, is hugely important in allowing nature and people to thrive’.