Exciting new Buglife project, “Pollinators Along the Tweed”, gets underway

Wednesday 19th April 2023

“Pollinators Along the Tweed”, a new Buglife Scotland partnership project restoring 40 hectares of wildflower-rich habitat along the River Tweed, is set to create a buzz for local pollinators and communities.

Working with Scottish Borders Council, Borders Forest Trust and other landowners in Scotland and north Northumberland, “Pollinators Along the Tweed” sets to create, enhance and restore 40 hectares of wildflower-rich habitat. Working across 50 sites in towns and villages along the Tweed, as well as the wider countryside, this project will help restore habitat connectivity for pollinating insects, enabling them to move across the landscape and adapt to a changing environment.

“Pollinators Along the Tweed”, part of the Destination Tweed source-to-sea river revitalisation project, is being made possible with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, AEB Charitable Trust, Craignish Trust, Fallago Environment Fund, J & JR Wilson Trust, Milkywire, NatureScot, Northumbrian Water Group and ScottishPower Foundation.

Charlotte Rankin, Conservation Officer at Buglife Scotland, commented: We are delighted to have received significant funding which enables us to expand Buglife’s pollinator work into the Scottish Borders and north Northumberland.

Pollinators Along the Tweed is a really exciting opportunity to work together, source to sea, to increase and reconnect flower-rich habitat for pollinators, and provide opportunities for everyone to discover, learn about and protect the Tweed’s pollinators.

By reconnecting a network of wildflower-rich habitat in the Tweed Valley, together we can help boost and protect local pollinator populations.

Norham - Bulb planting with volunteers
Norham – Bulb planting with volunteers

Luke Fisher, Tweed Forum’s Destination Tweed Project Manager continued: “Pollinators along the Tweed is an important part of the Destination Tweed initiative and will help to restore and enhance biodiversity along and around the new 113-mile walking and cycling trail that will run from Moffat to Berwick Upon Tweed. It will further elevate the appeal of our nature tourism offer and provide local communities with an exciting way to engage with and learn about the protection of the River Tweed’s rich and beautiful surroundings. We’re delighted that the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the other project funders, are recognising its importance with this significant grant funding.”

Running from November 2022 to May 2027, “Pollinators Along the Tweed” will enable communities to learn about, protect and monitor pollinators in their local area. Individuals and community groups will be able to join in practical conservation volunteering, pollinator workshops and walks, citizen science activities and more – from meadow bug hunts to school sessions and wellbeing walks. The project also aims to provide additional support to landowners and managers through habitat management advice and workshops.

“Pollinators Along the Tweed” further builds on Buglife’s B-Lines and pollinator projects both in Scotland and England. B-Lines present an opportunity to create a network of wildflower-rich areas, providing essential routes for pollinators to use. The B-Lines network includes our best habitats and identifies key areas to restore and create new wildflower-rich meadows, important grassland verges and pollinator friendly gardens. B-Lines can be adopted by farmers and landowners, local authorities and communities. Everyone who manages land can help to restore our pollinator populations.

If your farm, garden, local park or area is within the Tweed B-Line or wider B-Line network and you would like to know more to get involved, please contact Buglife Scotland at [email protected].

Councillor Jenny Linehan, Executive Member for Environment & Transport at Scottish Borders Council, added: Numbers of key pollinators have declined sharply in recent years and we are proud to be partnering with the Pollinators Along the Tweed project to enhance pollinator habitats along the River Tweed corridor.

As a Council it is our responsibility to protect the spectacular natural environment around us and the wildlife found within it by raising awareness of the importance of pollinators and promoting more sustainable practices wherever we can. We are looking forward to collaborating with all the groups involved to support biodiversity on a large scale that could not have been achieved individually.”

Nicola Hunt, Head of Land Management with Borders Forest Trust, one of the project partners said: It is exciting to be part of this initiative which will improve habitats for pollinating insects and raise awareness of the importance of this type of wildlife in our environment. Through this project, we will be increasing the diversity of wildflower species in our haymeadow and wetlands at our Corehead site to support a greater number of pollinating insects. We hope to be able to demonstrate the benefits arising from the habitat improvements by seeing an increase in pollinator numbers through monitoring with volunteers.

Pollinators Along the Tweed” is a Buglife partnership project that aims to create a network of habitat for pollinating insects along the River Tweed B-Line by increasing and connecting the area of wildflower-rich habitat. Working with the local authority, landowners and communities, Pollinators Along the Tweed will create and restore 40 hectares (100 acres) of pollinator habitat across 50 sites.

Main Image Credit: Peebles Golf Club – Bee Bank Building © Neil MacIntyre