Populations of bumblebees have crashed in Britain in the last 80 years due to habitat loss, climate change and pesticides. But one ambitious natural heritage project based in Derbyshire is working hard to revive their numbers by raising awareness of the links between the countryside, food and bumblebees through education and community action.
Bumblebees are pollinating insects that play a vital role in agriculture. Populations of this flying friend to farmers have crashed in Britain in the last 80 years due to habitat loss, climate change and pesticides. Two species have even become extinct.
Pollinating the Peak is an ambitious natural heritage project trying to revive their numbers. It raises awareness of the links between the countryside, food and bumblebees. Through education and community activities, it inspires action to help bumblebees. The project is based in Derbyshire and has a focus on the Bilberry bumblebee, a Peak District priority species.
Led by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, this work involves a wide range of partners. It reaches people of all ages; in disadvantaged urban and rural communities; and non-traditional audiences like prisoners.
Since launching in 2018, Pollinating the Peak has pioneered inclusive and accessible approaches to engagement.
Like the Bumblebee Education Experience: an exciting curriculum-linked package for secondary schools. This innovative scheme is inspiring new generations of citizen scientists.
Or improving the online ‘Bee kind’ tool; which helps people find the best flowers for bumblebees. The tool scores a garden, window box or green space for bumblebee-friendliness. Then suggests additions to turn it into a bumblebee haven. It now contains over 700 bumblebee-friendly plants.
And interactive bumblebee walks, talks, trails and training. Thanks to which, thousands of people can now recognise and record common bumblebees.
During lockdown, the project continued connecting people with bumblebees, through new digital content including the ‘What’s That Bumblebee’ app.
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