B-Lines to help insects in Worcestershire

Common Blue Butterfly CREDIT Steve Bloomfield

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust welcomes national project to help pollinators across the county.

Along with Worcestershire County Council, the Trust is one of several partners helping national conservation charity Buglife to bring its successful B-Lines project to the county.

map showing the B-Lines running through Worcestershire

B-Lines are a series of 'insect pathways' running through Worcestershire’s countryside and towns. They act like stepping-stones, linking existing wildlife areas together, creating a larger network that will weave across the British landscape.

Changes in land use has led to the number of Worcestershire’s bees, butterflies and hoverflies declining over the last 50 years but this is an opportunity to help restore this.

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.

Farmers, land owners, wildlife organisations, businesses and the public are being asked to work together to create wildflower-rich grassland around the county.

We’re delighted to welcome B-Lines to Worcestershire after seeing it do such good work for pollinating insects in many other counties.
Caroline Corsie
Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Caroline Corsie, Senior Land Advisor at Worcestershire Wildlife Trust explained: “At Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, through our wild pollinators project, we’re already working with more than 50 farmers to help improve and create corridors through our landscape for pollinators to move through.  This insect recovery network provides suitable habitat with plenty of food.

"We’re also working with individuals, communities and schools to encourage everyone to get behind our Action for Insects campaign – whether gardeners or groundspeople, we want everyone to start thinking about creating space for insects and to reduce their reliance on pesticides and other chemicals.

"We’re looking forward to working with Buglife, Worcestershire County Council and more partners as this project develops. The more we can pull together, the better it will be for wildlife.”

Councillor Tony Miller, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Environment said: “In 2015 Worcestershire became a ‘pollinator friendly’ county and so we’re very pleased to be part of Buglife’s national B-line network. We know Worcestershire’s important wildlife sites, Roadside Verge Nature Reserves and country parks all provide important biodiversity ‘hotspots’ and these new B-lines will help link our sites and create landscape-scale wildlife corridors helping Worcestershire’s wildlife thrive.”

Catherine Jones from Buglife said: “B-Lines provide an exciting opportunity for everyone to support our struggling insect pollinators. By working together to create a network of wildflower-rich habitats, we can support healthy populations of bees and other pollinators enabling them respond to threats such as climate change.”

Worcestershire is just one of the counties recently mapped leading to the completion of the England B-lines network, enabling Buglife’s vision of a river of wildflowers across the UK to be realised. The next step will be getting wildflower restoration and creation happening across the country.

Dave Throup, Chair of Worcestershire’s Local Nature Partnership says: “Worcestershire is blessed with many fantastic wildlife sites, B-Lines will help us link our spaces to a wider network of national wildlife corridors, giving biodiversity a vital helping hand. There’s lots we can all do to help wildlife, and B-Lines will help our native pollinators, which support Worcestershire’s important agricultural industries, they’ll give wildlife space to respond to climate change and bring nature to people by giving everyone the opportunity to play a part contributing to their local B-Line.”