1st Oct, 2020

Focusing on Worcestershire's bats, bees, butterflies and more for this year's International World Environment Day

Ross Crawford 13th Jun, 2020

PEOPLE are being asked to find ‘Time For Nature’ – the theme of this year’s International World Environment Day which took place last Friday.

Worcestershire County Council, which is responsible for environmental services is doing its bit to promote nature and biodiversity, and local residents can help do the same too.

The authority has just started monitoring surveys to see how bats are taking to the first bat friendly street lights in the UK.

Erected in Worcester these could be rolled out county-wide if a success.

As a result ecologists have seen plenty of Pipistrelle bats foraging around them during a recent survey.

Through the Natural Networks Programme, the County Council and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust continue to work with communities and landowners to conserve and restore the environment.

To date, the Natural Networks programme has completed four projects and enhanced and improved 25 hectares land in Worcestershire.

Other projects have included bees, butterflies and other pollinators –

Bees – Worcestershire has now officially been added to the official Buglife Beeline Network, which will hopefully help the county to flourish into a popular place for bees to visit.

Bee Bricks have also been installed at County Hall to provide safe nesting sites for solitary bees and other pollinators.

Bee posts will also be installed shortly at County Hall to provide further habitats for bees and pollinating insects.

Pollinators –  The county became a ‘pollinator friendly’ county five years ago and our important wildlife sites, Roadside Verge Nature Reserves and Country Parks all provide important biodiversity ‘hotspots’ and these new B-lines will help link our sites and create landscape-scale wildlife corridors helping Worcestershire’s wildlife thrive.

Coun Tony Miller, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Environment, said: “World Environment Day was a fantastic opportunity for us to look at all the things we’re currently doing and to continue to put in place to promote nature and biodiversity.

“We are making great progress in this area, and it really is putting our county on the biodiversity map.

“When out and about looking at the wonderful nature Worcestershire has to offer, please respect the environment at all times.”

The Worcestershire Countryside Service have been working hard from a social distance, continuing to prepare the wildflower meadow site at County Hall, sowing the seeds and installing public information boards.

The project, which received grant funding from the Natural Networks programme, will hopefully soon blossom into a wonderful wildflower display.

Through the Natural Networks Programme, the County Council and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust continue to work with communities and landowners to conserve and restore Worcestershire’s natural environment so that everyone can continue to appreciate it.

The grant programme offers advice and funding to projects which aim to create and restore habitats for wildlife.

The Natural Networks team can still safely conduct surveys and process grant claims for projects, following current government guidelines. For more information about the programme contact sustainability@worcestershire.gov.uk

The Council recently refreshed the Biodiversity Action Plan for the county. The BAP which runs from 2018-2027 identifies key areas where improvements can continue to be made to support wildlife in Worcestershire.

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