Exciting new Buglife project, “Strathmore B-lines”, awarded National Lottery Funding in Scotland.

Thursday 12th May 2022

Buglife Scotland’s exciting new project “Strathmore B-Lines – People & Pollinators in Strathmore” has been awarded a £176,366 funding grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund with match funding from The Gannochy Trust.

“People & Pollinators in Strathmore” is a partnership project working with Perth & Kinross Council, Angus Council, the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership, the River South Esk Catchment Partnership and other landowners. Through the project we will work with partners and communities to restore 20 hectares of wildflower-rich grasslands and other nectar-rich habitats across 20 sites in the Strathmore Valley.  The two-year project, starting in April 2022, will focus on combating the decline of pollinating insects from Dunkeld, in Perth & Kinross, to Montrose, in Angus; the towns and villages of Alyth, Blairgowire, Kirriemuir and Brechin will also benefit.

The Strathmore Valley currently supports a variety of fragmented pollinator habitats in the foothills of Highland Perthshire and Angus and crosses some of the most agriculturally intensive land in Scotland. This project will reconnect habitats, helping pollinating insects to move across the landscape and adapt to a changing environment.

These habitat stepping-stones will support the recovery of threatened species including the Bilberry Bumblebee (Bombus monticola), the Near Threatened Small Blue Butterfly (Cupido minimus) and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene) whilst helping to restore abundant populations of insects that are essential for pollinating our crops and wildflowers.

The project will benefit local communities by providing opportunities to connect with nature. People will be able to get involved through practical conservation volunteering, pollinator identification and monitoring workshops and community events – such as gardening for wildlife and nature walks. The project will also provide education opportunities by engaging with local schools and providing habitat creation and management advice to land managers, farmers, and local authorities.

Commenting on the award, Buglife Conservation Officer, Claire Pumfrey said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Gannochy Trust which will enable us to continue delivering our B-lines work within Scotland. We are currently facing a biodiversity crisis; we have lost over 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 1930s which has resulted in a serious decline in pollinator insects.

Through working in partnership with landowners, local authorities and communities, this exciting project will increase the area of flower-rich habitats within the Strathmore valley, restoring habitat connectivity for pollinators and other wildlife, whilst creating healthier and more vibrant environments for people to enjoy too.”

Angus Council Environment and Climate Change Team Leader Kelly Ann Dempsey continued:
“Angus Council is thrilled that B-lines work within Scotland will now include Strathmore, the arable heartland of North East Scotland. There are so many opportunities to engage with communities and land managers in rural and urban settings , helping to create important pollinator networks across our varied countryside”.

Divindy Grant, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Team Leader with Perth & Kinross Council, said: 
“This is an exciting and important project that will see us working with partners to restore wild-flower grasslands and support the recovery of threatened pollinators such as the Bilberry Bumblebee.”

Catherine Lloyd, Biodiversity Co-ordinator for the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership, added:
“This long-awaited project will bring many people together across Strathmore to help Buglife, not just to re-connect habitats for our pollinators, but to also actively involve local people – whether they are farmers, local authority staff or residents, including local schoolchildren. There will be lots of volunteering opportunities, training workshops and events for all ages.”

Strathmore B-Lines – People & Pollinators in Strathmore” further builds on Buglife B-Lines and pollinator projects across Scotland.

B-Lines present an opportunity to create a network of wildflower-rich areas across Scotland providing essential routes for pollinators to use.  The B-Lines network in Scotland 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 across all of Scotland; everyone who manages land across Scotland can help to restore our pollinator populations.

If your farm, garden, local park or other land you manage is on a B-Line and you would like to know more or get involved, please contact Buglife Scotland.