- This week Environment Minister Rebecca Pow MP visited Buglife’s “Severn B-Lines” project in Severn Valley Country Park, Shropshire to see work to restore wildflower habitat for pollinator insects
- Buglife Conservation Officer Kate Jones receives “Nature Hero” certificate in recognition of her work on the Severn B-Lines project inspiring the public to get involved in pollinator conservation
- Volunteers encouraged to get involved in botanical survey using the ‘UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme Flower-Insect Timed (PoMS FIT) count’ method and make a #pollinatorpledge for #beesneeds week
To celebrate the latest Green Recovery Challenge Fund awards and promote the Government’s new ‘Plant for our Planet’ campaign, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow MP today visited Buglife’s “Severn B-Lines” project in Severn Valley Country Park, Shropshire to see work to restore wildflower habitat for pollinator insects. The project – which received a £184,000 grant through the first round of the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund last December – is being carried out between Apley and Telford in Shropshire running alongside the River Severn. Working in partnership with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and various landowners, the Severn B-Lines project is currently restoring a 5 mile stretch of agricultural land into beautiful wildflower floodplain meadows and help the recovery of pollinator insects.
Recognising work to date on the Severn B-Lines project, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow MP presented Buglife Conservation Officer Kate Jones with a “Nature Hero” certificate in recognition of her work leading the project’s habitat restoration work and inspiring the public to get involved in pollinator conservation.
During the visit, Minister Pow also helped out with a botanical survey alongside other Buglife volunteers, using the ‘UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme Flower-Insect Timed (PoMS FIT) count’ method to record wildflower species at the project ‘donor meadow’ site, from which wildflower seeds will be taken and used to create new areas of wildflower habitat which, long term, will enable pollinator insects to spread to new areas and become more resilient for the future. At the end of the visit, Minister Pow made a #pollinatorpledge for #beesneeds week to plant more wildflowers for bees, butterflies and other pollinator insects in her own garden.
The Severn B-Lines project is part of Buglife’s national B-Lines programme aiming to re-connect our landscape and enable pollinators and other wildlife to move freely, and support nature recovery. B-Lines are 3km-wide insect pathways connecting the best remaining wildflower-rich habitats across the whole of the UK, from north to south and east to west.
To deliver the Severn B-Lines project, Buglife is working with Telford & Wrekin Council, The Apley Estate, Madeley Town Council and Gorge Parish Council to create and restore 20 hectares of species-rich grassland habitat across 19 sites, enabling pollinator insects such as bees, wasps, butterflies and moths to create new colonies and nesting sites and facilitate their long-term recovery in the area. Running alongside the National Cycle Routes 45 and 55 and the River Severn, the species-rich floodplain meadows restored by the project will provide attractive, continuous and accessible active travel-corridors where people can engage with nature to help improve their health and wellbeing.
The project is also working with the local community by providing practical conservation volunteering opportunities, schools sessions, pollinator advice workshops and community events – such the pollinator event at Severn Valley Country Park today.
The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.
About the latest round of Green Recovery Challenge Fund awards, Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said:
“The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.
“Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”