Progress report reveals boost for bees and other pollinators in Scotland

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BEES and other pollinators were given a welcomed boost in 2020 despite covid restrictions according to a new report.

More than 30 partners of NatureScot recorded good progress made across the year towards delivering the Pollinator Strategy for Scotland. 

The strategy aims to make Scotland more pollinator-friendly, halting and reversing the decline in native pollinator populations.

A bumblebee feeding on a garden sedum. Wolfhill, September 2013.©Lorne Gill - Environment News Scotland
(©Lorne Gill) The new report includes tips for how readers can help bees this year

The report praises the work of local authorities as they continue to introduce pollinator-friendly ways to manage their parks and green spaces.

From 32 pollinator hotspots along the John Muir Way, to more nature friendly towns and cities, to new species-rich grassland in our rural areas, NatureScot’s report highlights good progress made by more than 30 partners in the past year towards delivering the Pollinator Strategy for Scotland.

It also recognises the vital role of community groups and environmental bodies such as Buglife Scotland, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Butterfly Conservation in driving multiple projects forwards.

During the year, work was done to create wildflower meadows, build bee banks and bug houses, plant pollinator friendly trees and shrubs and transform roadside verges.

Last summer, NatureScot-funded surveys showed Scotland’s Agri-Environmental funding helped improve habitat for pollinators, creating and managing hedgerows and species-rich grassland.

There was further good news with many more scientists and volunteers taking part in the UK’s National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme in Scotland.

NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “Despite the challenges we faced in 2020, this progress report contains a lot of good news, and demonstrates the many far-reaching actions which are helping to boost pollinator populations across Scotland.

“Transforming our towns and cities into greener and healthier spaces is essential for pollinators and people alike, and the clear message is that we can all do our bit to help bees, butterflies and hoverflies thrive.

“No matter how big or small our own gardens and community spaces, if we take action to provide food and shelter for pollinators we can help these vital insects and in doing so ensure a nature-rich future for Scotland.”