Is the Government pollinator strategy enough to Get Britain Buzzing

Thursday 6th March 2014

Today the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched its National Pollinator Strategy for England as part of its commitment to save pollinators from decline. The report is the result of many months of work in conjunction with numerous stakeholders including Buglife and is now entering an eight week consultation period. Interested parties will be allowed to submit their comments up until the 2nd May.

Vanessa Amaral-Rogers, Buglife Campaigns Officer said “This is an ideal opportunity for the public to determine how the Government should be helping pollinators. The strategy discusses funding more research but there needs to be action on the ground. We need assurance that there will be support for projects which make a real difference in practice. Such as creating wide strips of permanent, wildflower-rich habitat or ‘B-lines’ which link existing wildlife areas together”.

Buglife have recently launched ‘Get Britain Buzzing’ a 7 point plan which gives detailed actions to address the worrying declines in bees and other pollinating insects across the UK. Included are calls to create legislation to protect bees, research into wild bee diseases and a concerted effort to reduce pesticide use which are missing from Defra’s document.

Vanessa said “We want Government to produce a strategy with practical actions which will make a real difference to our struggling insects. At the moment it relies heavily on voluntary participation, especially on the issue of pesticides when there should be tangible targets to reduce pesticide use. We are also concerned that the strategy suggests that research on whether neonicotinoid insecticides (a group of pesticides which were restricted last year across Europe) are safe, should be carried out by the agrochemical companies which produce them”.

During the consultation Buglife are asking the public to support ‘Get Britain Buzzing’ by getting the Government to strengthen their strategy and to incorporate Buglife’s 7 point plan.