New project aims to restore 57 hectares of Shropshire lowland heath

Image Bilberry Bumblebee (Bombus monticola) © Steven Falk

“Get the Marches Buzzing” a new Buglife project, set to restore 57 hectares of lowland heath and species-rich grassland across Shropshire and North Herefordshire has received funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Severn Trent Water.

Get the Marches Buzzing starts Winter 2022 and will work to restore habitats critical to the survival of the Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) and the Bilberry Bumblebee (Bombus monticola).  This project is added to the cohort of B-Lines projects running up and down the country, from Perthshire in Scotland down to Cornwall in South England.

New project aims to restore 57 hectares of Shropshire lowland heath

Since the 1930s over 97% of all flower-rich grasslands has been lost, leaving our pollinators vulnerable and in serious decline; B-Lines are an imaginative and beautiful solution to this loss. B-Lines are 3km wide ‘insect pathways’ running through our countryside and towns, connecting wildflower-rich habitats across the UK. These lines are to be filled with wildflowers to enable pollinators, and other wildlife, to move through our landscape to feed, nest and hibernate.

Get the Marches Buzzing will see Buglife teaming up with delivery partner Herefordshire Meadows to work with landowners in North Herefordshire; restoring over 13 hectares of species-rich grassland. In Shropshire, Buglife will be working with Shavington Estate, Telford & Wrekin Council, Severn Trent and the National Trust to restore almost 44 hectares of lowland heath and species-rich grassland.

Two roles will be created for this project, a Project Officer and Intern. They will oversee delivery of the habitat works; putting together a wide-reaching events programme engaging with schools, community groups, other local charities, youth clubs and reach out to people in-need through Telford and Wrekin Council’s green-prescribing service.

Get the Marches Buzzing will also have a strong focus on landowner engagement; working with farmer cluster groups to promote and support nature-friendly farming, as well as hosting events to showcase the work delivered with landowners and inspire further action.

A series of webinars, in-person events and volunteering will share knowledge about pollinators, wildlife gardening, practical habitat restoration and species monitoring encouraging people to take action themselves and add their projects to the interactive B-Lines map.

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.

Get the Marches Buzzing is being made possible with substantial funding from National Lottery players, via The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Additional funding has been secured through Severn Trent’s Great Big Nature Boost. Severn Trent are funding the habitat restoration work in Shropshire which will contribute to their recently released Pollinator Strategy which aims to show how the organization will champion pollinators across the region, through funding projects like this and through work on their own land.

Graham Osborn, Principal Ecologist at Severn Trent, said: “Our Pollinator Strategy sets out exactly why everyone, including large businesses need to champion pollinators, they are vital to a healthy ecosystem for wildlife and habitats.

“We’re delighted to fund what is a wonderful project that will transform such a large area of heath and grassland in our region as part of our commitment to improve and enhance 5000 ha of biodiversity across our region – the restoration of the Marches is a crucial step towards delivering on this commitment.

For more information about B-Lines, Get the Marches Buzzing or to add your own wildflower areas to the B-Lines network, please visit www.buglife.org.uk/projects/get-the-marches-buzzing

Rory Johnson, Meadows Advisor at Herefordshire Meadows, shared: “Herefordshire Meadows are very excited to be able to contribute to this ambitious cross-county collaboration effort by helping to coordinate the restoration of at least 13 hectares of species-rich grassland in North Herefordshire.

Peter Carty, Countryside Manager at National Trust, said: “We are excited to be involved with Buglife’s get the Marches buzzing. I have been a keen supporter of their B lines projects. I love the idea of creating connectivity across the landscape allowing pollinators to refuel as they move between habitat. Small achievable steps to create habitat pockets will have big benefits for pollinators and everyone can do a bit to help

Buglife |

Buglife is the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates our aim is to halt the extinction of invertebrate species and to achieve sustainable populations of invertebrates. Invertebrates are vitally important to a healthy planet – humans and other life forms could not survive without them. The food we eat, the fish we catch, the birds we see, the flowers we smell and the hum of life we hear, simply would not exist without bugs. Invertebrates underpin life on earth and without them the world’s ecosystems would collapse. www.buglife.org.uk

Follow us on Twitter @Buzz_dont_tweet

Herefordshire Meadows |

Herefordshire Meadows is a charity that aims to conserve, restore, and increase flower-rich grasslands in Herefordshire in particular, but not exclusively, by promoting sustainable land management systems, whilst also educating the general public on the benefits of flower-rich grasslands and the need to protect them.

The charity works collaboratively across the whole of the Herefordshire landscape holding events and discussions on how to manage, create and restore species-rich grasslands to benefit wildlife, soil and water quality, historic features, natural flood management and livestock farming businesses. www.herefordshiremeadows.org.uk

Get the Marches Buzzing |

Get the Marches Buzzing will restore 57 hectares of lowland heath and species-rich grassland across Shropshire and North Herefordshire and work with schools, farmer cluster groups, community groups and other organisations to educate, inspire and connect people with the nature on their doorstep.

Get the Marches Buzzing is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund Severn Trent Water, Telford & Wrekin Council, Milkywire and the Millichope Foundation.  It is being delivered by Buglife in partnership with Herefordshire Meadows.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund |

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK.

Each week, thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised for good causes across the UK.

www.heritagefund.org.uk

Follow @HeritageFundUK on?Twitter,?Facebook?and?Instagram?and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

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