Wales blazing a trail!
Earlier this week, I heard from our Welsh Conservation Officer, Sinead. She had just been to meetings to discuss an action plan for pollinators in Wales, and was keen to let everyone know about this pioneering work that is being done in Wales. No other regional government in the UK has (yet!) given such a high priority to pollinators, but I hope that they soon follow this example. By giving her input to this action plan, Sinead is helping to ensure that anything which is done to help pollinators in Wales includes some measures to help bumblebees. Read on to find out what Sinead has to say about this work.
Sinead said: "In July this year the Welsh Environment Minister, John Griffiths, announced a proposal to develop the 'Wales Action Plan for Pollinators'. This Monday I attended a workshop in Aberystwyth to have my say on what I think needs to go in the action plan. I think this action plan is an exciting and promising step as there are so many opportunities to help pollinators in Wales, and not least an opportunity for us in Wales to 'blaze a trail'! The key message I took to the workshop on Monday was the need for more wildflower-rich habitats across the Welsh landscape - this was a key message from many conservation organisations represented at the workshop.
Wildflower-rich habitats, like hay meadows and pastures, are beneficial for a wide range of pollinators and other wildlife, and are one of the most biodiverse habitat types in the UK. It is worrying to think that we have lost around 98% of our wildflower meadows in the UK since 1930. With statistics like this it is not surprising that so many of our pollinators are struggling, there just aren't enough flowers out there!
So, how do we actually reverse this decline? Well, one of the most important things we can do is to work with farmers, smallholders, land managers, and organisations which own large areas of land (such as the MOD), to deliver patches of wildflower rich habitat across the country. Happily, these are things which the Bumblebee Conservation Trust is already doing across the UK to try and help bumblebees. "
The Action Plan should help to create more beautiful meadows, such as this one. Photo taken by Sinead Lynch.