National Pollinator Strategy launched

Defra launch new English strategy for bees and other pollinators

1500 insect species climb higher up the scale of importance as vulnerability of pollinators could affect England’s £100bn food industry.

Defra along with several other conservation and industry bodies are joining together to implement the National Pollinator Strategy for bees and other pollinators in England launched in November 2014.

The strategy highlights many uncertainties in the current condition of pollinators, the impacts of threats against them and also how resilient agricultural and natural systems are to changes in pollinator populations.

The 10 years strategy includes a plan of action to ensure that pollinators’ needs are addressed as part of land and habitat management.  Some action is already being taken with Government backing initiatives to bring greater focus on the issue (see the advice given to gardeners, land owners and others on the ‘Bees’ Needs’ website:

The Sustainable Land Trust have adopted the vision of the Pollinator Strategy in that

‘our vision is to see pollinators thrive, so they can carry out their essential service to people of pollinating flowers and crops, while providing other benefits for our native plans, the wider environment, food production and all of us’

In our work we are responding positively to the Bees’ Needs call to Action by:

1. Growing more flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen as food for bees and other pollinators throughout the year. For example, pussy willow, primroses and crocuses in spring, lavenders, meadow cranesbill and ox eye daisies in summer, ivy and hebes in autumn and mahonia shrubs and cyclamen in winter.
2. Leave patches of land to grow wild with plants like stinging nettles and dandelions to provide other food sources (such as leaves for caterpillars) and breeding places for butterflies and moths.
3. Cut grass less often and ideally remove the cuttings to allow plants to flower.
4. Avoid disturbing or destroying nesting or hibernating insects, in places like grass margins, bare soil, hedgerows, trees, dead wood, or walls.
5. Think carefully about whether to use pesticides especially where pollinators are active or nesting or where plants are in flower. Consider control methods appropriate to our situation and only use pesticides if absolutely necessary.

Pop to our ‘Resources‘ page. to download a copy of the strategy.