B-Lines Northern Ireland

(c) Claire Pumfrey

Northern Ireland’s bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects are in trouble – the abundance of these incredibly important invertebrates has fallen and many species are under threat of being lost from our countryside. There are many reasons, but the main problem facing pollinators is a lack of habitat – a lack of wildflowers in our countryside. And we can change this. We have a plan. B-Lines will link up wildflower-rich habitats across the country and help our precious pollinators and other wildlife to have a better future.

Everyone can help to create B-Lines across our countryside, and our towns and cities – get involved!

Northern Ireland B-Lines

Northern Ireland is home to many threatened species of pollinators. The North Coast is a UK stronghold for the Northern colletes, a rare species of bee that lives on wildflower-rich grasslands on the stable parts of coastal sand dunes. The populations of this bee in the UK and Ireland are of international importance – representing about 50% of the World population. Populations of the threatened Marsh Fritillary Butterfly can be found in areas of rush pasture and unimproved wet grassland from a few sites in Counties Down, Antrim, Armagh and Fermanagh. Within the UK the Cryptic Wood White Butterfly is an exclusive species to Northern Ireland and can be found in a variety of open habitats such as road verges and hedgerows.

Around 70% of the Northern Irish Landscape is made up of improved grassland. This is grassland that has been managed to increase productivity, which unfortunately has come at a price for wildlife, in particular our pollinating invertebrates. A loss of foraging areas and nesting sites has led to a decline in many of our pollinator species. Northern Ireland now has vast areas with low species diversity, as good species rich habitat becomes more and more fragmented. To ensure the sustainability of our pollinators it is essential that we link up existing habitat and restore habitat across Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland B-Lines initiative will help Buglife, our partners, landowners, and communities to prioritise conservation efforts for pollinators across our rich and varied landscape. We are fortunate to have many pollinator friendly initiatives on-going in Northern Ireland that will contribute positively to B-lines. From protecting and restoring our Magnificent Meadows in Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone, encouraging biodiversity in our public grassland spaces and road verges through the Don’t Mow, Let It Grow project and restoring native flower-rich habitats with Bee-licious. Co-ordinated approaches such as B-Lines are essential in conserving our wild pollinators and can contribute towards the delivery of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.

Join us in creating B-Lines across Northern Ireland – take a look at our B-Lines map, find out how you can get involved, and add your project to our map!

This project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

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