A network of colourful ‘bee roads’ is being created across the countryside to reverse the decline in Britain’s threatened pollinators.
The project, launched this week by The Co-operative, envisages two corridors of wildflowers stretching north to south and east to west across Yorkshire, and the land will be seeded with species such as lesser knapweed, field scabious, birdsfoot trefoil and red clover.
By demonstrating the benefits of reinstating 5 hectares of lost wildflower meadows in Yorkshire, it’s hoped this £60,000 pilot project will be emulated in other counties across the country, reversing the decline in pollinator numbers.
Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals at The Co-operative says, “The UK has lost an alarming 97 per cent of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s and this has had a major impact on pollinator numbers. The number of honeybees in the UK has halved in the last 25 years, and three quarters of butterfly species and two thirds of moths have seen population declines since the 1970’s. Given that honeybees alone pollinate a third of the food we eat, a further decline in their numbers could have a devastating impact on our diets in the long run.”
By setting up these ‘Bee Roads’ we hope to make life easier for all pollinators and reverse their alarming decline.”
The project is part of The Co-operative’s £750,000 Plan Bee campaign, which encourages the growth of urban beekeeping and takes action on pesticide usage
Do your bit
Plant bee friendly plants in your garden or in a window box to help support them. They love old-fashioned, English cottage garden style plants or native varieties with simple single flowers such as roses, clematis, hollyhocks, geraniums, lavender and edible herbs with flowers, such as thyme or chives.