This national park is creating a 'road system' for bees

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This national park is creating a 'road system' for bees


The South Downs National Park Trust has launched Bee Lines - a proposed network of wildlife corridors across the south east for bees and other insects.

Georgina Wilson-Powell

Mon 20 May 2019

You don't need to be told bees are decline. You know. So what do we do about it? That's the question facing much of the UK's countryside and farming communities.

(We've lost over 30% of our bee population in the last 10 years. Over 97% of all flower rich grasslands have been lost in England since the 1930s).

The South Downs National Park Trust has launched a new campaign, Bee Lines, which hopes to raise funds to encourage landowners to create new wildflower corridors – essentially a “road system” for insects – that will link habitats and encourage pollination.

Image Photography | ​The South Downs National Park Trust​

But it's not just large scale landowners and farmers, they're looking to engage. Normal people, like you and me, can create Bee B&B's in our gardens by planting bee friendly plants and flowers.

Need some bee friendly plant advice and inspiration? Click here for our expert bee-friendly planting guide.

Want to make a bee B&B? Click here for a step by step guide.

Tom Parry, Lead Ranger for the South Downs National Park, who is helping with the project, said: “Chalk grassland with a colourful blanket of wildflowers is the perfect habitat for pollinators and was once very extensive across the South Downs. But the past century of human impact has seen this habitat reduced to just four per cent of the total area of the National Park, creating fragmented areas that make it harder for pollinators to move through the landscape.

Through this campaign, we plan to work with farmers and landowners to create new wildflower corridors to link up these fragmented habitats. This will allow the insects to travel along these paths. It’s a double benefit because creating this network will not only allow populations to thrive and support other wildlife, but it will also encourage pollination that will help our farmers."

One of the first wildflower corridors is due to be planted at East Clayton Farm, near Washington, in West Sussex.

To find out more about the Bee Lines project or donate towards the fundraising click here.