What’s the need?
Plymouth is buzzing. It is full of life. There are hundreds of species living side by side in our vibrant city. As we go about our busy lives so do they. Buzzing bees spend their summer months collecting nectar and pollen to feed their young, and in the process pollinate our wildflowers, garden plants and crops. Other insects such as beetles, butterflies, flies and moths also perform this important task of pollination.
Wild insects pollinate our food for free, without our pollinators we wouldn’t have crops such as apples, cherries, pears, plums, pumpkins and strawberries.
However, many of these pollinating insects are in decline due to the loss of their habitat. A massive 3,000,000 hectares of flower-rich grassland have been lost in the UK since World War Two – these flower-rich areas were vital habitats for wild bees and other insects to nest and feed. As a result this has caused large declines in UK pollinators as well as other invertebrates.
What have we achieved?
Our Heritage Lottery funded Plymouth’s Buzzing project has completed its aims. But this is not the end of Plymouth’s Buzzing. Over the two year life of the project, we have achieved loads to get Plymouth Buzzing:
- 5.8 hectares of meadow created
- 53.5kg of wild flower seed sown
- 1900 flowering bulbs planted
- 5200 wild flower plug plants planted
- 82 local schools worked with / advised
- 1204 school children engaged
Our partners at Plymouth City Council have helped us to created meadows at Brickfields Triangle, Stonehouse Park, Central Park, Barn Park Meadow and Whitleigh Meadow.
We are continuing our work with Plymouth City Council to get more of Plymouth Buzzing. Through funding from the Big Greenspace Challenge we are in the process of developing some new meadow areas in Radford Park and Mount Gould Park. The Big Green Space Challenge is supported by the Langage Landscape Fund from the development of the Langage Energy Centre at Plympton by Centrica. One of the purposes of the Fund is to support landscape and planting schemes involving the community.
We have also been working with Plymouth City Council to advise them on their Bee Verges. These colourful stripes of land can be seen on the approaches to the city at Embankment Road, Billacombe Road, Novorossiysk Road and Tavistock Road. More information about these sites can be found at http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/wildflowermeadows.