Biffa, Buglife, bees and butterflies – that’s a lot of b’s all adding to the excitement of 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 York, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester and Plymouth to design and deliver flower rich areas to benefit bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Work here in York will be led by your newly appointed Project Officer, Harry Woolner. The whole project will run over three years with each urban centre receiving 18 months of intensive support thanks to a generous grant fund from Biffa Award of over £1 million, support from City of York Council, along with sizeable contributions from other funders both nationally and locally.
The first phase of the Urban Buzz project will see project officers consulting with the residents of York, Birmingham, Cardiff and Plymouth on 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.
Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at City of York Council said: "We're pleased to have this opportunity to work closely with Buglife and local communities to enhance the environment for pollinators and wildflowers in York. This new project enhances existing work taking place to benefit the urban environment, such as our work with Buglife to protect the Tansy Beetle and introducing allotment apiaries. Urban Buzz will give community groups and individuals the chance to get involved in creating some fantastic new habitats for our wildlife."
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.”
Harry Woolner, Buglife’s Urban Buzz Officer in York 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 to help 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 gardens and brownfield space is putting increasing strains on species survival. The Urban Buzz project will help redress the balance in favour of our pollinating friends who play a crucial role in pollinating many of our food crops as well as the beautiful flowers we enjoy.”
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 Harry on [email protected] or 07464 828 626.