Monday 4 July 2016

Professor Jeff Ollerton

An expert from the University of Northampton is encouraging people in Daventry district to contribute to a national project to create a network of wildflower-rich areas to support bees and other pollinating insects.

Professor of Biodiversity, Jeff Ollerton, has backed the B-Lines project, which 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 on the Buglife website so the organisation 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.

Professor Ollerton, who is 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.”

Find out more about the project at the Buglife website.

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