Today Buglife with funding from Defra, launches an ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects. Worcestershire 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.
Worcestershire 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 Tony Miller, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Environment said: “In 2015 Worcestershire became a ‘pollinator friendly’ county and so we’re very pleased to be part of Buglife’s national B-line network. We know Worcestershire’s important wildlife sites, Roadside Verge Nature Reserves and Country Parks all provide important biodiversity ‘hotspots’ and these new B-lines will help link our sites and create landscape-scale wildlife corridors helping Worcestershire’s wildlife thrive.”
Dave Throup, Chair of Worcestershire’s Local Nature Partnership said: “Worcestershire is blessed with many fantastic wildlife sites, B-lines will help us link our spaces to a wider network of national wildlife corridors, giving biodiversity a vital helping hand. There’s lots we can all do to help wildlife, and B-lines will help our native pollinators which support Worcestershire’s important agricultural industries, they’ll give wildlife space to respond to climate change and bring nature to people by giving everyone the opportunity to play a part contributing to their local B-line.”
Caroline Corsie, Senior Land Advisor at Worcestershire Wildlife Trust said: “We’re delighted to welcome B-Lines to Worcestershire after seeing it do such good work for pollinating insects in many other counties. At Worcestershire Wildlife Trust we’re already working with more than 50 farmers to help improve and create corridors through our landscape for pollinators to move from through. This insect recovery network provides suitable habitat with plenty of food. We’re also working with individuals, communities and schools to encourage everyone to get behind our Action for Insects campaign – whether gardeners or grounds people, we want everyone to start thinking about creating space for insects and to reduce their reliance on pesticides and other chemicals. We’re looking forward to working with Buglife, Worcestershire County Council and more partners as this project develops. The more we can pull together, the better it will be for wildlife.”