Today Buglife with funding from Defra, launches an ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects. Surrey 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.
Surrey 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.”
Rob Fairbanks, Director at Surrey Hills AONB said: “We are delighted to be working with Buglife on this brilliant initiative. There has been a drastic decline in nature over recent decades in the countryside. The B-Lines project will help us to target advice to farmers and landowners to restore our insect and pollinator populations. This is the key to securing nature recovery across the Surrey Hills”.
Andrew Jamieson, project development manager at Surrey Wildlife Trust, said: ‘Buglife’s B-lines mapping is a stroke of genius, providing a map for habitat creation that will become the basis of living green arteries for bees, bugs and butterflies not only in Surrey, but also nationwide.
With people getting closer to nature under lockdown and realising its value to us all, B-lines for Surrey is being launched at the perfect time. We hope it will inspire people across the county to play their own part in creating flapping, buzzing and fluttering networks of insects to bring about abundance and recovery of nature on our doorstep.’