Get Bristol buzzing!

’Get Bristol Buzzing’, an initiative to make life better for pollinating insects in Bristol, launches today as part of the city’s year as European Green Capital.

The food we eat and the parks and gardens we enjoy are dependent on a host of insect pollinators, including bees, butterflies and hoverflies. However, these important insects are under threat and in decline globally as well as in the UK.

Scientists, councils and conservation organisations in the city aim to reverse that decline by working together to provide a joined-up approach to pollinator conservation.

Today, Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol City Council, Bristol Friends of the Earth, Buglife, South Gloucestershire Council, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England will launch a public consultation on their draft Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy.

Organisations and individuals will be invited to download the draft strategy and provide feedback via an online survey. The final strategy will then be launched in March.

The strategy is a key component of the Get Bristol Buzzing initiative which will link together activities related to pollinator conservation throughout Green Capital year and into the future. The initiative builds on many successful projects already underway in Bristol including the University of Bristol’s Urban Pollinators Project which has been researching pollinators in Bristol over the last three years and Bristol City Council’s Meadow Bristol project.

Dr Katherine Baldock, of the University of Bristol’s Urban Pollinators Project said: “The aim of Get Bristol Buzzing is to inspire a joined-up approach to pollinator conservation across the Greater Bristol urban area, helping individuals and organisations create suitable habitat for insect pollinators throughout the city – in gardens, public spaces and on business sites too.

“It’s important that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the strategy and we are also keen to find out about activities already taking place in the Bristol area.

“We are seeking responses from individuals and all types of organisations including conservation charities, Friends of parks groups, Neighbourhood Partnerships, garden centres, businesses and government organisations. It is essential that everyone is involved in shaping the future of pollinator conservation in the city.”

Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015 Ltd, said: “Get Bristol Buzzing is a fantastic example of local and national organisations working in partnership to improve Bristol for wildlife and for people during our year as European Green Capital. This initiative links closely to the Food and Nature themes of the Green Capital programme as bees and other insect pollinators are essential for sustainable local food production. The activities planned for 2015 will empower organisations and residents to be able to improve their own parts of Bristol for these essential insects.”

Defra has contributed funding to support the local Pollinator Strategy and Get Bristol Buzzing as part of Bristol Green Capital 2015. Defra will also fund the creation of three flower meadows, one in South Gloucestershire on Bromley Heath Road and two on Bristol City Council land alongside the M32 motorway. These meadows will increase the amount of flowers providing good sources of nectar and pollen for insect pollinators. The local strategy for the Greater Bristol area builds on the National Pollinator Strategy for England which was published by Defra in November 2014.

The Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol

The Cabot Institute carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainties in a changing environment. It drives new research in the interconnected areas of climate change, natural hazards, water and food security, low carbon energy, and future cities. Its research fuses rigorous statistical and numerical modelling with a deep understanding of social, environmental and engineered systems – past, present and future. It seeks to engage wider society by listening to, exploring with, and challenging its stakeholders to develop a shared response to 21st Century challenges.

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