Hertfordshire abuzz with its bee-friendly plan

Published: 01 Apr 2019

Hertfordshire County Council is spearheading a Pollinator Action Plan to address the sharp decline in bees and pollinating insects.

The council is working with landowners, district and borough councils and environmental groups to develop a county-wide commitment to sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming and land management techniques.

Plans include increasing pollinator-friendly habitats by planting more wildflowers and other bee-friendly plants, as well as verge management, pollinator-friendly cutting cycles and reducing the use of pesticides.

A motion, agreed by Full County Council on Tuesday, came on the day scientists revealed that British insects such as bees and hoverflies have drastically decreased by a third over the last three decades across the UK.

The scientific review, published in the journal Nature Communications, revealed that if current trends continue some species of bees and hoverflies which pollinate food crops and other plants will be lost from Britain altogether.

Sass Pledger, Hertfordshire County Council’s Assistant Director (Property) said: “As a responsible landowner, Hertfordshire County Council is committed to preserving the delicate eco-systems and habitats our insect populations depend on.

“Residents of Hertfordshire can be assured that this council has and will continue to support a positive approach to a sustainable and diverse flora-rich environment to ensure that our pollinators have the right food sources to flourish.”

She added: “The Rural Estates team has worked to enable the farming community, including county council tenants, to secure environmental scheme aid to help them deliver a range of wildlife benefits. These include the provision of nectar-source crops and wildflower field margins.

“Support has also been given to many of our district and borough councils to establish and manage grassland and wetland nature reserves across the county.”

The council’s action is in line with the government’s Implementation Plan 2019-21 for its National Pollinator Strategy, requiring the county council as a landowner to participate in this UK-wide initiative.