An ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects has been launched today by Buglife with funding from Defra. Wiltshire 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.
Wiltshire 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.”
Ellie Jones, Reserves Manager at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust said “Insect abundance has declined dramatically in recent years and 41% of insect species currently face extinction. B-Lines is an ambitious and innovative opportunity to turn around the fortunes of some of our most important pollinators and supports the work we are doing through The Wildlife Trusts’ Action for Insects campaign.”
Lieutenant General R E Nugee CB CVO CBE, Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy Lead for the Ministry of Defence said “We are delighted to support the development of this landscape-scale project. As a proud resident of Wiltshire, it is excellent that B-Lines will help us to focus our efforts in enhancing our land holdings and community green spaces for pollinating insects in Wiltshire and beyond, benefiting both people and wildlife”