Concern has been growing for some time about the decline of pollinators in the UK, so much so, that in November last year, the government launched its National Pollinator Strategy which ‘sets out a 10 year plan to help pollinating insects survive and thrive’.
Pollinators, including bees, butterflies and moths are responsible for pollinating many of our food crops. Without them, we would see lower yields from crops such as such as apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and field beans and it is likely that more of our fresh fruit and vegetables would need to be imported.
What is causing the decline?
There are a number of reasons for the decline including the loss of basic habitat including sources of food and nesting sites, fewer hedgerows and wildflower rich grasslands and the increased use of pesticides.
What can we do to help?
Making a B-Line for London
The ‘Making a B-Line for London’ partnership is planning to develop B-Lines across London, increasing the diversity and abundance of pollinating insects across its green spaces and gardens. The first of these lines will run from Enfield to Croydon, entering Lambeth in Waterloo and winding its way down through Kennington Park and Brockwell Park before leaving the borough just north of Tulse Hill.
We will be supporting the B-Line in our local parks and open spaces and will bring you news of projects shortly. However, individuals are also encouraged to support the project by creating new pollinator habitats.
This could be planting pollinator friendly plants and trees in your garden, in pots on your balcony or patio, at your allotment or food growing space or in your local community. Once you’ve created your space, you can add them to the B-line map, so we can build up a clear picture of the habitat in Lambeth.
Of course, habitats are welcome all over the borough, not just within the B-line!
Come to our talk – Honey bees and the London environment.
We are really pleased to be able to welcome Richard Glassborow, chair of the London Beekeeping Association, who will give an introductory talk on honey bees and their significance to the London environment.
The talk will provide an overview of the evolution of pollinators and flowering plants before looking more closely at the honeybee, how they live and their relationship to flowers. We will then look at the environment in London and what can be done to improve it for bees and us. If it’s good for bees it’s good for all of us!
Richard hopes to be accompanied by a colleague who can offer help to all who are interested in improving the London environment for bees by planting suitable forage and encouraging others to do the same.
The talk will take place on Saturday 11 April at 1.30pm at Vauxhall City Farm.
Places are free but limited, book yours here.