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From the blog

Let’s talk about the B-lines wildflower project

by Libby Polkey

At PECT, we’re looking for ways to get the community involved with our environmental projects. We want organisations, businesses, and local residents to get involved because we need their support to make Peterborough greener.

Recently, we dropped off 600 seed packets to Perkins for staff to take home and plant. Other organisations such as The Women’s Institute have also received seed packets, to create wildflower havens in community spaces and private gardens.

This was made possible thanks to our funders, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, People’s Postcode Lottery, Viridor, Peterborough City Council and Buglife, who support our Peterborough B-Lines project. B-Lines aims to reverse the serious declines in pollinator populations by establishing new wildflower networks. Since the 1940s, we’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows. This has created major problems for pollinators. They have lost their homes and food resources, which has caused many colonies and populations to die out. The remaining habitats are small and fragmented.

Unfortunately, this makes their populations vulnerable to inbreeding and local extinctions (refs: Effect of Habitat Fragmentation on the Extinction) It’s estimated that 40-70% of insect species could go extinct unless we take action now and create wildflower networks (ref: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007).

Our B-Lines project is part of a much wider project which was created by Buglife, who aim to restore our pollinator populations. There have been many successful B-Line projects across the UK, in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Wales. By creating and linking together these habitats, pollinators can travel through our cities and suburbs into more biodiverse areas of wildflower meadows.

A dedicated volunteer team is integral to the success of B-Lines. Already, hundreds of volunteers have planted over 19,000 square metres of wildflowers (ref: Dec | 2020 | Scottish pollinators) on roadside verges, roundabouts, and in community spaces. Without them, we wouldn’t have the workforce needed to establish these wildflower areas. The cooperation of local councils is equally as important, too. In England alone, local councils own 1.3 million acres of land (ref: What land is owned by councils? – Who owns England?). This includes our highways, parks, community allotments, local nature reserves and national parks, which are key areas for B-Lines wildflower meadows.

Our Peterborough B-Lines project needs support from the community to create the wildflower networks. With their support, we can create biodiverse green spaces for both people and pollinators to enjoy.

If you are interested in receiving seed packets or would like to find out more information, please call 01733 568408 Ext 312 or email [email protected]