Bumblebee Conservation Trust welcomes National Pollinator Strategy
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) has welcomed the Government’s proposed National Pollinator Strategy for England as a “brilliant first step” in getting the issues affecting bumblebees and other insect pollinators on the table.
The Trust, which has worked closely with the Government in drawing up the proposals, said it would continue to play a key role as the strategy moved forward over the next 10 years.
BBCT is currently developing its own five-year strategic plan which is due to be published in the near future. CEO Lucy Rothstein said the development of the National Pollinator Strategy (NPS) was perfect timing for the trust.
“The vision of the strategy accords beautifully with the vision of BBCT,” she said. “It enables us to embed the vision of the NPS in our strategy but also use our work going forward to influence what is in the NPS.”
BBCT welcomes the proposed investment in science to fill gaps in understanding about the current status of pollinators and highlighted its own work in addressing these issues. BeeWalk, the Trust’s national bumblebee monitoring project, will play an important role in contributing to the information available about bumblebee trends.
The Trust is also involved with research into commercial bumblebees being carried out by scientists at the University of Sussex. At the same time, BBCT is actively working to improve habitat for pollinators – a key issue for bumblebee populations.
A few days ago, BBCT launched a Spring into Action campaign which provides resource packs to help people lobby their local authorities to be more bee-friendly and encourage garden centres to promote plants which are beneficial to pollinators.
BBCT is also working closely with organisations such as the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) and Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) to help farmers manage their land in a sustainable way.
In addition, BBCT is taking forward the development of an ambitious coastal project, which focusses on improving habitats for Kent’s wild pollinator populations with particular emphasis on bumblebees and solitary bees.
“We have a lot to bring to the table in terms of initiatives,” says Lucy. “The important thing now is to fill the evidence gaps. We have a five-year strategic plan that’s going to move this on. It’s a brilliant starting point. The next step for us is getting more happening on the ground.”
BBCT echoed the NPS’s Call to Action by calling on its own members to welcome the strategy and respond to it at: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/plant-and-bee-health-policy/a-consultation-on-the-national-pollinator-strategy
The Trust is now taking forward its own response to this consultation, which it will publish in due course.