Wild Pollinators

Common carder bee on clover (c) Rosemary WinnallCommon carder bee on clover (c) Rosemary Winnall

We have received funding for a five year project from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development through Natural England’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme’s Facilitation Fund to work with farmers and growers to develop habitats and nesting sites for native pollinators.

Hoverfly (c) Wendy CarterThe project is focusing on the Shrawley and Bow Brook areas of the county.  Working with farmers who have signed up to the scheme, we will be auditing land-holdings and suggesting management changes that will complement the various farming practises of participants. Lessons learnt and good ideas will be shared with the whole group through study days, site visits and training events.

You can learn more about how we assess landholdings for pollinators by downloading our Wild Pollinator Health Check.

The group will work together to establish viable populations of wild pollinators (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, butterflies etc) by meeting the needs of species through providing appropriate nesting habitat, food supplies, overwintering habitat and appraising the impact of pesticides/Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Lower Smite Farm mix (c) Wendy CarterBoth farmers and pollinators will benefit through a range of multi-functional solutions including:

  • the increased planting of nectar mixes to increase the amount and duration of nectar availability to wild pollinators whilst also buffering water courses
  • connecting habitats to help pollinators move through the countryside
  • reducing the need for growers to import pollinators
  • increasing local knowledge and engaging growers in finding their solutions and increasing the resilience (of both farmers and pollinators) in the areas to climate change.

As the project progresses, we'll share our knowledge and experiences here, as well as upload fact and advice sheets.  We'll also establish an e-newsletter with seasonal hints and tips.  Watch this space!

You can hear direct from Caroline and two of our farmers in a piece we did with BBC Midlands Today in July.


European Agricultural Fund for Reural Development logo

 

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.  This project has received European Union spending under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme's Facilitation Fund.