Bee corridor project hits major milestone

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Buglife Scotland has completed work on 37 wildflower-rich habitats along the John Muir Way.

16th July 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A plan to make land in central Scotland more bee-friendly has reached a major milestone.

The John Muir Pollinator Way, run by the charity Buglife Scotland, aims to establish Scotland’s first pollinator corridor - or B-Line - stretching from Helensburgh to Falkirk.

Buglife hoped to establish 25 wildflower-rich habitats along the 134-mile route of the John Muir Way by June.

This week, the charity revealed that work had been completed on 37 sites, meaning over 7.5 hectares of land has now been enhanced for the benefit of pollinating insects and other wildlife.

According to Buglife, the UK has lost over 97% of species-rich grassland since the 1940s, with dramatic declines in associated wildlife including native bees, butterflies, hoverflies and beetles.

Projects like the John Muir Pollinator Way provide vital habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, allowing populations to remain connected while also bringing nature closer to urban spaces.

Joanna Lindsay, conservation officer for Buglife Scotland said: “People and communities all along the John Muir Way have contributed to enhancing their local greenspaces for wildlife through this project and have learned about the importance of protecting our pollinator populations.

“Hopefully this time next year walkers and cyclists using the route will enjoy seeing these sites buzzing with life.”

The scheme has been funded by the Scottish Government and the Greggs Foundation, with support from the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) and local councils. Most of the work was carried out with help from local volunteer groups, community groups and schools.

Emilie Wadsworth, deputy head of strategic development for CSGNT, said: “The achievements made this year in creating another 37 pollinator sites along the John Muir Way have been fantastic, and have made a real contribution to our vision of creating a network for people and wildlife along the route. We’re looking forward to getting out there next spring and seeing it all in bloom.”

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham welcomed the announcement.

She said: “I’m pleased to support initiatives like this which help to create ideal habitats for our flora and fauna, with all the economic, health and wellbeing benefits that brings.”