The importance of pollinating insects such as butterflies, bumblebees and beetles is being spelled out in West Sussex.
A new ‘pollinator action plan’ has been published by West Sussex County Council which sets out how these vital species will be protected.
“Pollinators are an integral part of our existence. Without them our food supply, wildlife and countryside would cease to exist,” said Deborah Urquhart, county council cabinet member for environment.
“There are over 4,000 species in the UK and impending habitat loss, pesticides and climate change are threatening their very existence.”
The council’s pollinator action plan aims to help sustain pollinator species across the county, and is built around five central aims:
1. To ensure the needs of pollinators are represented in local plans, policy and guidance where relevant.
2. To protect, increase and enhance the amount of pollinator habitat in West Sussex, prevent any extinction and improve the status of any locally threatened species.
3. To increase awareness of pollinators and their habitat needs among local residents, businesses and other landowners.
4. To increase the contribution to pollinator conservation of land under the ownership of, or managed by the county
5. To improve knowledge and understanding of pollinators in the region.
The county council has been running a ‘notable road verge’ scheme since the 1970s and for over four decades has identified and managed over 50 miles of species-rich road verge to maintain their value for pollinators.
Shared use paths such as Downs Link, Worth Way, and Forest Way are managed to promote biodiversity, providing wildlife corridors within the landscape including shelter and food opportunities for pollinators.
Visit: westsussex.gov.uk/bees to learn more and find out about the small changes you can take, too.