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New partnership with Mineral Products Association to help bumblebees

The MPA and Bumblebee Conservation Trust have established an exciting new partnership to help conserve bees and help them thrive.  A new Memorandum of Understanding between the organisations will be the basis of partnership working that will include facilitating access to quarry sites for monitoring, advising and educating quarry staff on measures that help bees including creation of suitable habitat, and training quarry staff to recognise and survey their sites for bees.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said:  “MPA members have a long legacy of high quality restoration and are uniquely placed to protect and enhance biodiversity and help arrest the decline of rare and threatened species and habitats. This partnership will enable the industry to help do what we can for bees which are under threat and play a crucial part in maintaining ecosystem services.”

Lucy Cooper, Acting Chief Executive of the BBCT said:  “Bumblebees are a crucial part of the UK's ecosystem and our natural heritage so it's alarming to see how numbers have been declining in recent years.

 “The partnership with MPA means we will be able to work with landowners we have not previously been able to reach, ensuring that the UK's rarest bumblebees have the habitat they need in order to survive. By working with MPA members to increase the availability of habitat for bumblebees, BBCT hopes to begin a reversal in the recent fortunes of these important insects.”

Notes for Editors

 The MPA and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 23 November that will form the basis for partnership working including exchange of information, assistance with monitoring and survey, education and awareness raising.

 The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the recent addition of The British Precast Concrete Federation (BPCF) and the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), it has a growing membership of 465 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of GB cement production, 90% of aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and ready-mixed concrete production and 70% of precast concrete production. Each year the industry supplies £9 billion of materials and services to the £120 billion construction and other sectors. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors. For more information visit: www.mineralproducts.org

  The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) was established because of serious concerns about the 'plight of the bumblebee'. In the last 80 years our bumblebee populations have crashed. Two species have become nationally extinct and several others have declined dramatically. Bumblebees are familiar and much-loved insects that pollinate our crops and wildflowers, so people are rightly worried. BBCT has a vision for a different future in which our communities and countryside are rich in bumblebees and colourful flowers, supporting a diversity of wildlife and habitats for everyone to enjoy. A growing number of committed supporters are helping the small BBCT team of staff make a big difference. They have over 7,000 members and are growing fast. For further information visit: http://bumblebeeconservation.org

 For further information please contact Gill Perkins (Conservation Manager, Bumblebee Conservation Trust) at gill.perkins@bumblebeeconservation.org; tel: 02380 642060 , or Hilary Arrowsmith (MPA) at hilary.arrowsmith@mineralproducts.org; tel: 020 7963 8000.

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