This week, conservation charity Buglife are launching a B-Lines map for Orkney as part of a complete network for Scotland.
B-Lines is a response to the decline of bees and other pollinating insects, a plan for how to reconnect our wild places by creating a network of wildflowers across our landscapes.
Our precious pollinators are disappearing from large parts of the countryside – there are fewer bees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths – and as well as the loss of abundance, some species are at risk of extinction in Scotland.
Buglife seeks to change this, by working together to restore wildflower areas in our countryside and urban areas to aid nature’s recovery.
B-Lines provide an opportunity to create a network of wildflower-rich areas across Scotland providing essential routes for pollinators to use.
The B-Lines network in Scotland includes our best habitats and identifies key areas to restore and create new wildflower-rich meadows, important grassland verges and pollinator friendly gardens.
B-Lines can be adopted by farmers and landowners, local authorities and the general public across all of Scotland.
Buglife Scotland Manager, Natalie Stevenson, said:
“Launching B-lines across Scotland will help us forge strong regional partnerships so together we can improve habitats and ensure that the important ecological services provided by pollinators can be sustained. People across Scotland are realising how critical invertebrates are for a nature-rich future and are beginning to change the way they manage our grasslands. There are so many opportunities across Orkney to connect pollinator habitats and we have some exciting projects planned with the communities here.”
Tom Wells, RSPB Orkney added:
“The Orkney B-line represents existing areas of rich wildflower habitats, which are so essential in supporting species such as the Great yellow bumblebee, one of the UK’s rarest bumblebees. Creating more wildflower habitats and connecting the areas to form a ‘pollinator corridor’ across the islands, is crucial to ensuring the survival of these bumblebees and other important pollinating species in Orkney.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to get involved – whether a window box or a small wildflower plot in the garden, a few pots in a school yard, or a large field, everyone can help to increase the spread of native wildflowers and extend Orkney’s B-line!”
Everyone who manages land on Orkney can help to restore our pollinator populations.
Take a look at the B-Lines map and see if your farm, garden, local park or other land you manage is on a B-Line. If you would like to get involved, please contact Buglife Scotland.
Buglife would like to thank the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for supporting this project, and the help of all the local and national partners who have helped to map the B-Lines network for Scotland.