Urban Buzz an eight city project to create habitat for pollinators. Today Buglife are launching this ambitious new program of activity that will work with local people in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Plymouth and York to design and deliver flower rich areas to benefit bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Work here in Cardiff will start next month led by your newly appointed Project Officer Michelle Bales with support from Cardiff Council. The whole project will run over three years with each urban centre receiving 18 months of intensive support thanks to generous grant fund from Biffa Award of over £1 million, with additional funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation and supported in Cardiff by the Heritage Lottery Fund along with sizeable contributions from other funders both nationally and locally.
Gillian French, Head of Grants, Biffa Award said ‘We’re really buzzing about this project to engage people with wildlife in urban areas. Pollinators are vital in any ecosystem and we’re really proud to be supporting this essential conservation work. The team at Buglife have grand plans, and we’re pleased that the Landfill Communities Fund can be used to help them achieve their ambitions.’
The first phase of the Urban Buzz will see project officers consulting with the residents of Birmingham, Cardiff, Plymouth and York on the best places for pollinators and the best places to create new flower rich areas in order to enhance the cities. This initial work will be followed by intensive seed sowing and plug planting to create lush, vibrant flower rich swards.
Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Bob Derbyshire, said: “Pollinators play a key role in our food supply chain. If their numbers continue to decrease then it could have potentially serious consequences for us all. That’s why projects like this are so important.”
“Urban Buzz will help provide habitats that allow this important wildlife to thrive. What’s more it will help create colourful, attractive areas which will enrich the urban environment and can be enjoyed by everyone.”
Michelle, Buglife’s Cardiff Urban Buzz Officer commented. “This project is the biggest scale urban based project for UK bees and will help create a template that can be repeated across the entire United Kingdom helping to secure a long term future for our vital pollinators. Today the urban environment provides one of the mainstays for our pollinators but increased concreting over of garden and brownfield space is putting increasing strains on species survival, the Urban Buzz will help redress the balance in favour of our pollinating friends who freely contribute £0.6 billion per annum to the UK farming industry.”
Julie Hughes, Development Officer for HLF in Wales explains “It is crucial that we all aware of the importance of pollinators and the threats that they face. HLF are therefore delighted to support this project which will ensure that these species are better understood and protected for the future”.
The project will consult and partner with local groups, associations and friends of parks and open spaces. Any organisation or individual who wishes to become involved is invited to contact Michelle Bales on [email protected] or 07464828625.