There are lots of projects that are helping Devon’s pollinators, from surveys of rare species, to managing nature reserves and creating new wildflower-rich habitats in the countryside and our urban areas. Here are some links to partnership projects that are currently taking place, or have occurred across the county:
Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) – Set up by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the PoMS aims to improve our understanding of pollinator distribution by introducing surveys for the public to get involved in.
Moor Meadows – Established in 2015 by a small group of local people in order to help each other conserve, restore and create flower-rich grasslands in the Dartmoor landscape.
Devon road verge project – Devon County Council is working with partners to produce guidance and case studies encouraging communities to manage road verges for wildlife.
West Country Buzz project: The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has been working alongside Natural England and other NGOs across Devon to develop this project, which aims to provide management advice and training to farmers who want to improve conditions for pollinators and other wildlife on their farm. The project also hopes to improve the survey effort for bumblebees in Devon by running workshops for people to increase our understanding of bumblebee distribution and abundance. Take a look at the project Flyer
South West Bees project: Buglife have been working with others to survey, monitor, map and conserve Devon’s most threatened bees.
South Devon B-Lines: The South Devon B-Lines Project is a partnership between Buglife and South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and is part of the wider B-Lines initiative, identifying and then developing a UK-wide network of wildflower-rich meadows and grasslands.
Plymouth’s Buzzing!:In partnership with Plymouth City Council, Buglife has involved local schools and communities in conserving bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects at sites across the City.
Exeter Wild City project: This project is run by Devon Wildlife Trust and Exeter City Council and over the past few years has been transforming local green spaces into wildflower rich meadows, orchards and other pollinator-friendly schemes.
Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area: The Northern Devon NIA is one of 12 nationally important landscape-scale wildlife schemes across England, identified by Defra in 2012. The NIA aims to restore and re-create a wildlife-rich landscape across the internationally important river Torridge catchment. Work so far has included over 1500ha of wildlife habitat restored, 81ha of new habitat created and 96km of riverside land influenced.
Devon County Wildlife Site project: Run by the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre this project aims to help designate and encourage best management of Devon’s 2,200 CWSs. They currently make up around 4% of Devon’s land area and are a variety of species rich meadows, woodlands, lowland fens and Culm Grasslands.
Dartmoor Conservation Garden: Situated behind Devon National Park Visitor Centre in Princetown, the Dartmoor Conservation Garden shows some typical habitats and native plant species found in Dartmoor as well as some archaeological features. The project also runs various events, talks and classes held at the garden.
Torbay’s Buzzing: Buglife partnered with Torbay city council to tackle the declining populations of pollinators by managing public spaces and creating wildflower rich areas so that bees, butterflies and other pollinators can thrive.
Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project: Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty set up this project to get local communities involved in local conservation whilst also providing them with training, setting up events and assisting them to start and manage natural heritage projects.
Campaign for the Farmed Environment: This project is supported by a partnership of organisations committed to both agriculture and the environment, and aims to support and encourage landowners and farmers to manage land in a way which benefits wildlife, the environment and food production.
Fernbank Community Garden: Residents of Lower Collapark in Totnes have transformed a once-neglected space into a community garden buzzing with creativity. A variety of herbs, currant bushes and wildflowers have been planted to attract pollinators and the curious passerby alike. A place that was once an eye-sore is now host to a monthly volunteer gardening session, a children’s play area and a calm space for people and bees to forage among the thyme, lavender, wild oregano, fennel, and other goodies.