Over the last few years the Nature Partnership has been working to understand more about pollinators in the farmed environment and look at ways to help tackle their declining numbers.
Pollinator declines are well documented and a range of factors have led to reductions in both overall numbers and diversity of species. Many farmers, particularly fruit growers, rely on domesticated honeybee colonies to provide the pollination services required. These managed hives are not without risk or cost implications and there is growing recognition of the need to support wild pollinators – not just bees but other insects including hoverflies, wasps, moths, beetles and butterflies.
In 2015, Defra launched its National Pollinator Strategy setting out a 10 year plan to help support bees and other insects and ensure that the needs of pollinators are an integral part of land and habitat management. These needs include the provision of:
To support the strategy, Defra also made a series of grants available to Local Nature Partnerships for pollinator initiatives and in recent years the Nature Partnership has been successful in securing match funding for two different projects: Assessing the impact of increased maize cropping on pollinators and Increasing wild pollinators on your farm: a low cost approach.