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Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s response to the National Pollinator Strategy Consultation

Following the announcement from Defra that there would be a National Pollinator Strategy for England, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust has been closely involved in the development of the Strategy. As a member of the Advisory Committee, our Chief Executive worked alongside organisations such as RHS, Buglife and the British Beekeepers' Association to shape the Strategy.

BBCT has since been asked to provide a response to the plans. BBCT has welcomed this opportunity to shape the Strategy, which has the potential to bring about greater protection of our pollinators. Our Board of Trustees has submitted a response to the consultation, which you can read in full by clicking here.

In summary, our response states that:

  • The Board of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) welcomes the development of the National Pollinator Strategy for England.  It recognises the importance of insect pollinators and that, amongst other environmental policies, the conservation of this guild of insects has considerable economic value.
     
  •  The BBCT considers that there has been a missed opportunity to develop a UK-wide strategy, akin to the UK’s Biodiversity Plan, which involved the three Devolved Administrations.
     
  • The BBCT suggests that the vision should be expanded to include the guild of pollinating insects and to recognise the importance of the ecosystem service of pollination for the well-being of the nation’s wild flowers.
     
  • The BBCT does not under-estimate the complexity of the inventory process for the 1500 or so species included within the term ‘pollinator’.  Without careful planning from the outset, the potential for both duplication and gaps in the data sets of distribution and abundance is considerable.
     
  • The BBCT applauds the emphasis on the use of volunteers throughout the strategy.  However, the voluntary effort needs to be co-ordinated by staff who can oversee the implementation of the whole strategy and, in particular, the communications required in the ‘Call to Action’.  The BBCT encourages ther implementation of the strategy on a project basis, with DEFRA or one of its agencies leading.
     
  • The major omission in the strategy is an indication of the resources – both human and financial – required for its successful delivery.
     
  • The strategy is central to the BBCT’s core mission, so the Trust is prepared to dedicate resources at both strategic and operational levels to ensure the success of the strategy.  The BBCT therefore stands ready to assist in the implementation of 7 of the 18 Priority Actions outlined in the strategy.
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