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Project restoring British insect habitats wins lottery funding

Data has shown that 97% of flower-rich grasslands have been lost since the 1930’s, leaving pollinators in decline.  

A new project by conservation charity Buglife, which will restore 57 hectares of lowland heath and grassland across Shropshire and North Herefordshire, has won funding.  

Get the Marches Buzzing will begin this winter after receiving money from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Severn Trent Water for plans to restore crucial habitats for the Dingy Skipper and the Bilberry Bumblebee.  

This will contribute to a series of B-Lines projects running across the country, from Perthshire in Scotland all the way down to Cornwall, providing 3km wide ‘insect pathways’ through countryside and towns.  

Wildflowers make up the pathways, enabling pollinators and other wildlife to move through landscapes to feed, nest and hibernate.  

Kate Jones, Get the Marches Buzzing Project Officer said: ‘This project is ambitious in its scope and will do important work for wildlife across our rural and urban landscapes by working with landowners, councils and communities to restore and protect our precious habitats, for wildlife and people to enjoy.  

‘We are grateful to National Lottery players for making Get the Marches Buzzing possible.  Come and help us on a volunteer workday on one of the lowland heath sites in Telford, join us for guided mindfulness events in a local greenspace or log onto one of our webinars to learn what you can do to help pollinators.’  

Buglife will be collaborating with Hertfordshire Meadows to work with landowners in North Hertfordshire to restore 13 hectares of species-rich grassland.  

In Shropshire, Shavington Estate, Telford & Wreckin Council, Severn Trent and the National Trust will work to restore 44 hectares of lowland heath and grassland.  

An events programme engaging with schools, community groups, local charities, youth clubs and supporting people in need through Telford & Wreckin Council’s green-prescribing service has also been organised. These will be overseen by a new Project Officer and Intern.  

The project will focus more on landowner engagement too, working with farmer cluster groups to promote and support nature-friendly farming and hosting events to showcase successful schemes.  

Photos provided by Buglife

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