We are running a five year project, funded 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.
The project focuses on the Shrawley and Bow Brook areas where we work with farmers who have signed up to help wild pollinators. We are auditing land-holdings and suggesting management changes that will complement the various farming practices of participants. Lessons learnt and good ideas are 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 Pollinators Farm Health Check below.
The group works together to establish viable populations of wild pollinators (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, butterflies etc.) by providing appropriate nesting habitat, food supplies, overwintering habitat and appraising the impact of pesticides/Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Both farmers and pollinators will benefit through a range of multi-functional solutions including:
- planting of pollen and nectar mixes to increase the amount and duration of food 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 solutions and increasing the resilience (of both farmers and pollinators) in the area to climate change.
As the project progresses, we'll share our knowledge and experiences here, as well as upload fact and advice sheets.
You can hear more about the project from our Senior Land Advisor Caroline and two of our farmers in a piece we did with BBC Midlands Today in July 2016.
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.