Lining up to save London’s pollinators

Monday 30th March 2015

Whether you are a manager of a park or an individual with a window box, you could be part of a growing band of committed Londoners helping the capital’s declining insect population through the creation of a B-Line for London.

The Making a B-Line for London partnership is asking that organisations, groups and individuals add the work they are doing for pollinators onto Buglife’s interactive online London B-Line map. Even the smallest of actions can contribute to collective efforts by creating flower-rich stepping stones of habitat.

Making a B-Line for London is a group of nine organisations who aim to help Londoners increase the variety and abundance of flower-visitors in their local green spaces by creating more stepping stones for bees, butterflies, hoverflies and beetles.

The London B-Line runs from Enfield in the north to Croydon in the south – the hope is to create huge swathes of space for pollinators across London that people can enjoy too.

There are over 1500 species of insect pollinators in the UK, vital in underpinning the health and function of many ecosystems. It is known 60% of all of our UK wildlife has declined over the last 50 years. Increasing the geographic range, availability of food and living space for wildlife increases its chances of survival.

Making a B-Line for London aims to connect organisations and communities in London over the coming years to change the way land is managed to create and improve flower-rich areas for insects and people. Projects such as this are at the frontline in our struggle against the impacts of change on our wildlife.

Caroline Birchall from Bee Collective, said: “We are asking individuals and organisations to highlight their activities on the London B-Line map. If you’re on the 75 kilometre long route, please click on the submit information button and complete the form. If you are not within the London B-Line, your work is just as important, Making a B-Line for London aims to involve all of London as it grows and develops.”

Alister Hayes from London Wildlife Trust said: “We are developing an on-line toolkit to enable Londoners to identify and create a grid of B-Lines across London. The partnership has agreed a five year plan to start, grow and establish the project. Monitoring is a crucial part of the delivery. We will be checking diversity and abundance of pollinating insects along the London B-Line, in order to determine the most effective and efficient ways of achieving an increase in pollinating insects.”

Paul Evans from Buglife said: “We are interested in hearing from everyone along the B-Line, whether you are a school creating a bee-friendly garden, a landowner creating a wildflower meadow, a local authority developing bee-friendly flower-beds, or a business planting wildflowers in its grounds.  By following the instructions on the mapping pages you can input details and photographs of any work which is contributing towards the development of the London B-Line.”