Buglife’s Northern Ireland B-Lines initiative will help our bees and other pollinating insects by restoring and connecting wildflower-rich areas across the country.
Today the wildlife charity is launching the new B-Lines map which provides a plan to help our declining pollinators.
Bees, butterflies and other pollinators are a vitally important part of our wildlife and essential to people. It is estimated that 84% of our crops benefit from insect pollination along with approximately 80% of wildflowers. Strawberries, apples, pumpkins, peas and oilseed rape all depend on insect pollinators.
However, many of our pollinators are in serious decline, the numbers of threatened species are rising, and the sheer abundance of insects in our countryside is in sharp decline. One of the key reasons for this is the loss of wildflowers from our countryside on which our pollinators depend.
The Northern Ireland B-Lines Map identifies opportunities for restoring wildflower-rich habitats like meadows, linking existing wildlife areas to create a wildflower-rich network across our countryside and through our towns and cities.
Buglife has been working with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), wildlife charities, the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) and others to map B-Lines across the whole of Northern Ireland. This co-ordinated approach is essential in conserving our wild pollinators and it is thanks to the support of these partners that the mapped B-Lines network for Northern Ireland is now complete.
Anna Hart from Buglife Northern Ireland said “The Northern Ireland B-lines will help us to give a boost to our bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects by creating a network for nature. Anyone can get involved and add their pollinator project to the interactive B-lines map. Now that we have the plan in place we must keep the momentum going. This is an exciting opportunity for everyone in Northern Ireland to help our pollinators!”
Dr Úna FitzPatrick, co-ordinator of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, said “with one third of our wild bee species threatened with extinction from the island of Ireland, we need to act now before they disappear. Small changes to bring food and shelter back into our landscape is what is required and the B-lines initiative has the potential to make a real difference”