I am celebrating the news that the Government has announced a £60,000 fund to develop and test pollinator habitat mapping - identifying where new habitats will provide the greatest benefit for bees and other pollinators. This comes after I brought forward proposals in a Bill of my own in the Spring, much of which will now be included in the Government's own plans. I'm really pleased that our campaign to save the bees, and ultimately our own lives given that they pollinate the plants that sort out the oxygen for us, has achieved something really positive.
After months of campaigning, I've withdrawn my Protection of Pollinators Bill, which was due for its second reading tomorrow, 26th October. The Bill asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to help bees and other insects by protecting their habitat and supporting the creation of "pollinator corridors". These corridors are pathways formed of wildflower-rich habitat which provide places of refuge for bees and ensure that they have paths to travel safely around the country.
As part of their announcement, the Government is investing in two projects to create pollinator-friendly landscapes:
•The Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s “West Country Buzz” project in North Devon which seeks to grow a partnership of land managers, farmers and NGOs to improve and connect habitats for bees.
•The Martin Down farmer “Super Cluster” in Hampshire, led by Game and Wildlife Conservation Trusts, farmers and landowners. This will provide training and advice to enable three farmer clusters to protect and enhance wildlife, including pollinators.
Great news, hugely grateful to DEFRA, Michael Gove and to BugLife for their support. That's 1-0 to the bees!