Get the Marches Buzzing

Shropshire Hillside © John Clift (Flickr, CC)

Get the Marches Buzzing is an exciting B-Lines project working to restore 60 hectares of wildflower rich habitat across Shropshire and North Herefordshire to increase the area and quality of pollinator-friendly habitat across the counties. This project focusses on restoring areas of habitat critical to the survival of the Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) and Bilberry Bumblebee (Bombus monticola), two declining species.

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Quick Facts:

  • Name of Project:  Get the Marches Buzzing
  • Duration of Project: November 2022 – September 2024
  • Location of Project: Shropshire & North Herefordshire
  • Species benefiting from Project:  Bilberry Bumblebee (Bombus monticola), Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) and other generalist pollinators
  • Project funded by:  National Lottery Heritage Fund, Severn Trent Water, Millichope Foundation, Telford & Wrekin Council, Milkywire

What will the project do?

This two-year B-Lines project will deliver the restoration and enhancement of almost 60 hectares of wildflower-rich habitat through Shropshire and North Herefordshire, with the aim to create valuable ‘stepping-stones’ of habitats through the urban and rural landscapes to increase habitat connectivity across the counties.

We are working with a range of partners to restore species-rich grasslands and open mosaic habitats. We’ll be delivering targeted work with Telford and Wrekin Council to help improve three post-industrial sites for the threatened Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages). Furthermore, we are restoring a species-rich grassland near the Long Mynd to help plug the ‘hunger gap’ for the Bilberry Bumblebee (Bombus monticola) with the National Trust.


Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) © Greg Hitchcock Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) © Greg Hitchcock

What has happened so far with the project?

Since the project started in November 2022, we have delivered a diverse programme of events reaching over 400 people, and it has benefitted from 225 hours of volunteer effort. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped us to hand-harvest seed, create bare ground ready for seed sowing and clearing scrub.

In Spring 2023, we held a project launch event, which can be accessed on the Buglife Youtube Channel and gives a full overview of the project and an introduction to the staff and partners working on it.

We launched a Get Your School Buzzing program and worked with three schools across the project area, helping them to create a ‘stepping-stone’ habitat for pollinators within their school grounds. We’ve created bug hotels, a wildlife pond, wildflower gardens and inspired over 150 children to notice and care for wildlife in their school grounds. If you would be interested in working with us or would like to know more, please contact us below or keep your eyes peeled for a webinar next year on the program.

Get the Marches Buzzing - Get Your School Buzzing © Emily Hughes Get the Marches Buzzing - Get Your School Buzzing © Emily Hughes

This project has worked with many volunteers to carry out restoration work and to deliver training to them. We hosted a bumblebee identification event with Dr Richard Comont from Bumblebee Conservation Trust and then led a pollinator monitoring workshop with landowners in North Shropshire. In Summer 2023, we led a hand-harvesting seed workshop at Langley Fields and a training workshop on how to use iRecord along with some pollinator and botanical identification. Telford and Wrekin Council have created a short film for each of these events, they can be accessed on Youtube – Seed harvesting and iRecord videos.

This autumn, we will be carrying out the practical restoration work on our chosen sites, including seed sowing and plug planting. Sign up to our newsletter here, if you would like to be updated on the project and informed of any upcoming events.


Get the Marches Buzzing event ©️ Telford & Wrekin Council Get the Marches Buzzing event ©️ Telford & Wrekin Council

How can you get involved?

Communities can get involved through a series of opportunities. Join us for:

  • volunteer workdays;
  • training workshops on habitat management & creation;
  • species monitoring and
  • wildlife gardening.

Information, advice and support is also available to landowners who would like to know more about the project, how they can be involved and how to improve their land for pollinators.

Add your project to our B-Lines map!

For more information on how to get involved in our “Get the Marches Buzzing” project please contact Emily Hughes (Conservation Officer) at [email protected]

Get the Marches Buzzing event ©️ Emily Hughes Get the Marches Buzzing event ©️ Emily Hughes

Get the Marches Buzzing” is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Severn Trent Water, Millichope Foundation, Telford & Wrekin Council, Milkywire

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