People in Daventry district are being encouraged to contribute to a national project to create a network of wildflower-rich areas to support bees and other pollinating insects.
The B-Lines project aims to create a series of insect pathways that link together the best of our existing wildlife areas to benefit bees, butterflies and a host of other wildlife.
It has been developed by conservation charity Buglife in a bid to arrest the decline in the UK’s 2,100 species of wild pollinators.
The pathways – or B-Lines – have recently been mapped out across the east of England and include southern parts of Daventry District at Weedon, Everdon and Woodford Halse, as well in the north at Cold Ashby, Naseby, Kelmarsh and Great Oxendon.
Anyone who carries out work to help pollinators within the B-Line network is asked to log it at www.buglife.org.uk/b-lines so that Buglife can develop a picture of what is happening around the country.
The work can include wildflower planting, habitat restoration, wildlife activities in schools and the construction of bee hotels or green roofs on buildings.
Daventry District Council is supporting the scheme by mapping planting carried out as part of its Big Poppy Plant and Mini-Wildflower Meadows schemes, which provide free bags of wildflower seed for communities to plant.
The council is also a member of the Northamptonshire Local Nature Partnership (N-LNP), which is made up of a number of organisations aiming to drive positive change in the county’s natural environment.
Jeff Ollerton, professor of biodiversity at The University of Northampton and a member of the N-LNP, has been involved in the B-Lines project.
He said: “This is a fantastic, national initiative by Buglife which really highlights the ways in which local people and groups can get involved with positive conservation efforts to maintain and increase the diversity and abundance of our pollinators.
“By pollinating crops such as fruit trees, beans, and oil seed rape, these insects contribute millions of pounds to Northamptonshire’s agricultural economy, so this has impacts beyond just the conservation of our wildlife.”
Councillor Jo Gilford, environment portfolio holder on Daventry District Council, said: “Volunteers have created new wildflower areas totalling about 5,500 square metres in size through our various seed schemes in the last few years – that’s equivalent to about 21 tennis courts. It has resulted in some fantastic wildflower havens across our district as well as helping to foster community spirit in the areas that took part.
“I’m sure lots of communities are doing other great things to support our pollinating insects and I would encourage them to visit the Buglife website and share their successes.”
Find out more about the project at www.buglife.org.uk/b-lines