West Lothian B-Lines

With the loss of over 97% of wildflower-rich grasslands across Britain since the 1940s, many pollinating insects are in rapid decline. The main cause is the loss and fragmentation of wildflower-rich habitat including meadows and heathlands.

West Lothian has seen a significant loss of species-rich grassland to urbanisation, industrialisation and agriculture: 13.2% of the land area is urban and 36 % is grassland, 70% of which is cultivated and biologically poor. Currently, most grassland in West Lothian’s urban greenspace is managed strictly for amenity use with frequent cuts close to the ground. This results in low floral species diversity, significantly reducing the vital foraging habitat available for pollinating insects.

The West Lothian’s B-Lines project is a partnership between Buglife and West Lothian Council, with funding from the Heritage Fund, creating wildflower habitats throughout the West Lothian area for the benefit of both pollinators and people. The project runs from June 2019 to April 2021 and is part of Buglife’s wider B-Lines initiative to map and build a network of wildflower-rich grasslands across the UK.

 

By transforming intensively managed amenity grassland into colourful species-rich grassland, West Lothian’s B-Lines will help to reverse the declines in our pollinator species whilst also establishing more healthy functioning ecosystems. Working closely with West Lothian Council, the project aims to create wildflower meadows in at least 7 areas across West Lothian to form this new B-Line, enabling pollinating insects and other wildlife to move across the landscape.

The project also has huge benefits for people; community groups, schools, local residents, and other people from all over West Lothian will be involved in the creation of these wildflower areas, whilst learning more about pollinating insects and how to manage greenspaces for wildlife through workshops and events. Additionally, colourful urban wildflower meadows improve the quality of greenspace for people to enjoy, which in turn improves people’s health and well being.

For more information on West Lothian’s B-Lines and how you can get involved, please contact Scotland@buglife.org.uk. If you have created your own pollinator ‘hotspot’ or know of an existing wildflower area, you can add them to our Scotland B-Lines map!

The West Lothian’s B-Lines project is funded by Heritage Fund and West Lothian Council.

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