Wildflower species-rich grassland provides an important habitat for invertebrates, especially pollinating insects, to nest and feed. In Fife, there has been a significant loss of species-rich grassland to urbanisation, industrialisation and agriculture. Many of the remaining grassland areas are managed strictly for amenity use and consequently, support very little wildlife and few plant species. The ambitious Fife’s Buzzing project was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Fife Environment Trust to enhance parks and greenspaces across the Kingdom of Fife for both wildlife and people to use and enjoy.
Over the course of the project, over 4,000 people were engaged at meadow creation days, bug hunts and other events. Pupils from 27 schools and volunteers from 10 different community groups have been vital in helping with this project and have enjoyed creating and enhancing habitat for wildlife in their local area.
The project was made possible by enthusiastic and committed landowners and managers, including Woodland Trust Scotland, Fife Golf Trust, Commscope, St Andrews Botanic Gardens and Fife Council. The extensive planting and meadow creation would not have been possible without the significant contribution of Community Payback by Offenders Scheme and Fife Council’s parks department.
Fife is the most heavily cultivated region in Scotland, and therefore relies on pollination for the production of food. Annual monitoring showed that the meadows had an almost instant benefit to pollinators. Baseline surveys of amenity grassland in 2014 found a total of a mere 8 invertebrate species. At the newly created meadows in 2015, 101 species were recorded including 56 different types of pollinator. In 2016, this increased to an impressive 122 species, of which there were 65 different types of pollinating insect. Other wildlife was spotted too, including frogs, swallows and kestrels hunting over the grassland.
Fife’s Buzzing meadows can be enjoyed at Aberdour Silver Sands, Ravenscraig Park in Kirkcaldy, Riverside Park and Formonthills in Glenrothes, Tayport Common in Tayport, Leuchatsbeath in Cowdenbeath, Bankie Park in Anstruther, and many more locations.
For more information on the success of this project please contact Suzanne Burgess in the Stirling Office on 01786 447504.