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Buglife’s B-Lines project takes shape in Swindon

21 May 2020

  • Wiltshire B-Lines project launched with focus on Swindon area
  • Part of a partnership between environmental organisations, led by Buglife, to encourage the creation of essential habitat for pollinators

An ambitious plan to help our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects was launched last week by Buglife, with funding from Defra. Wiltshire B-Lines aims to connect the county’s best remaining wildlife sites through targeted wildflower habitat creation, linking the north to the south, east to the west and towns to the countryside.

Buglife has worked with the local authorities and other partners to map out a network of potential wildflower habitat – called B-Lines, and are now inviting farmers, landowners and the public to get involved in creating new pollinator habitat, and practically restoring wildflower-rich grasslands.

Bees and other pollinators are disappearing from our countryside because of a lack of wildflower-rich habitats.  Three million hectares, 97%, of the UK’s wildflower-rich grasslands have been lost since the 1930s.  Creating pollinator habitat along B-Lines will help wildlife move across our countryside, saving threatened species and making sure that there are plenty of pollinators out there to help us grow crops and pollinate wildflowers.

Here in Swindon, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Swindon Borough Council are partners in the Forest Meadows project, seeking to create, restore and better manage a series of meadows along the line of the B-Line passing through the heart of Swindon From Tadpole to Wroughton and beyond.

Many of these sites are easily accessible from National Cycle route 45. The benefits are already being seen thanks to Network Rail and The Greater West Programme who have funded work to create flower rich glades at Mouldon Hill Country park and the planting of woodland edge wild flowers at Rivermead.

Hayley Herridge from Buglife said “This is an exciting opportunity for people to help our struggling insect pollinators. If we establish a network of wildflowers across our landscape, we can support the recovery of our pollinator populations enabling them respond to threats such as climate change.” “If you have land which you are interested in restoring to wildflower-rich grassland, or if you would like to get involved in other ways, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.”

Neil Pullen, Swindon Reserves Manager at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust said “Insect abundance has declined dramatically in recent years and 41% of insect species currently face extinction.  B-Lines is an ambitious and innovative opportunity to turn around the fortunes of some of our most important pollinators, and supports the work we are doing through The Wildlife Trusts’ Action for Insects campaign.”

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Photos: supplied on request, please email eleanord@wiltshirewildlife.org

For more information about the B-Lines project, visit https://www.buglife.org.uk/our-work/b-lines/b-lines-south-of-england/  or contact Hayley Herridge at Buglife: info@buglife.org.uk

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