Everyone asked to do their bit for Devon’s pollinators

Posted on: 26 April 2016

Everyone who owns or looks after land of any size will be encouraged to sign a new Devon Pollinators’ Pledge, being launched this week (Friday 29 April) by the Devon Local Nature Partnership (LNP).

From window boxes, to gardens, allotments, orchards, parks and fields, the aim of the pledge is to encourage everyone to make practical changes where they can to enhance local biodiversity.

The Devon LNP will be launching the Pledge at its conference, ‘What Does Nature Do For Devon’, this Friday.

The Pledge will ask people to sign up to one or more of the following actions:

• to plant bee-friendly flowers that provide nectar and pollen throughout the year
• to create and protect wild flower meadows, small or large, by sowing wild flower seeds and to leave them to flower and set seeds before cutting
• not to be too tidy and to let some areas grow wild, with dead wood and undisturbed structures to provide shelters over winter
• to avoid using pesticides wherever possible, or consider control methods and use pesticides only if absolutely necessary
• to consider supporting any of the many conservation organisations campaigning for, and conserving, our wild pollinators in Devon.

Natural Devon is a partnership of over 800 local individuals and organisations.

Sue Goodfellow Devon LNP ChairIts Chairman, Suzanne Goodfellow, said:

“We all know that we are in big trouble without pollinators, and that we need to play our part in supporting our bees, hoverflies, butterflies, and even wasps.

“Nationally the cost of replacing pollination services provided by bees is thought to be over £1.8 billion a year.

“There are more than 100 different bee species in Devon, while over 85 hoverfly, 100 moth and 25 butterfly species have been recorded in our gardens. However some species are under threat due to widespread loss of natural habitats and an increasing use of pesticides.

“We want to encourage everyone to sign the Devon Pollinators’ Pledge and to take action to make Devon’s window boxes, gardens, allotments, orchards, parks and fields, as pollinator-friendly as possible.”

Devon County Council recently agreed to develop and adopt a Pollinators Action Plan as part of its land management strategy, and it will be one of the first organisations signing the Local Nature Partnership’s Devon Pollinator Pledge.

Cllr Roger CroadCouncillor Roger Croad, the Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the environment, said:

“The Council has been discussing biodiversity recently and our responsibilities as a landowner, and we’re now developing a Pollinators’ Action Plan which will describe our strategy for the ecological management of our land.

“The goals for both the Pledge and our Action Plan have the protection of the natural habitat at the fore with an emphasis on pollinating insects. We encourage others to sign the Pledge and to make a difference on their land.”

The Devon Pollinators’ Pledge will be available to sign up to on Natural Devon’s website, www.naturaldevon.org.uk. Natural Devon is also encouraging everyone to tweet their pledges #devonpollinators @Devon_LNP.

The Devon Local Nature Partnership conference, entitled ‘Valuing Nature – What Does Nature Do for Devon’ is at Exeter Racecourse on Friday 29 April. For more information about the conference visit their website.

Speakers at the conference will include Tony Juniper, author of ‘What Nature Does for Britain’; Harry Barton, Chief Executive of Devon Wildlife Trust; Professor Ian Bateman from Exeter University; and Neil Parish MP.

The Pledge is sponsored by local solicitors Woolcombe Beer Watts, who have funded the printing of 10,000 Pledge postcards, which will be distributed at events and venues.

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