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Bumblebee on yellow flowers

12/3/2021

New Pollinator Strategy proposed to protect York’s biodiversity

City of York Council is taking action to make York more pollinator friendly.


There are over 4,000 species of insects in the UK that carry out pollination of our native wild plants and food crops, but they are under threat and in decline due to habitat loss and excessive pesticide use.


The council wants to introduce a new Pollinator Strategy so that it can ensure local residents, businesses and landowners are provided with information to help protect and increase pollinators.


Insects like bumblebees, butterflies and beetles all provide a vital part in pollination of our native wild plants and our food crops, ensuring the protection of our city's biodiversity.


The new strategy aims to protect, increase and enhance the amount of pollinator habitats on council owned or managed land, and help to improve the status of any locally threatened species.


An example of this work in action is the creation of the York Community Woodland, which will consist of more than 50,000 trees and include a wildflower meadow. The proposal for the new woodland will soon be going out to public consultation.


The most significant factors leading to these declines in pollinator numbers includes habitat loss (food, shelter and nesting), pesticides which have harmful effects on honeybees, wild bees and butterflies and climate change, which has long term effects.


Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for the environment and Climate Change, said: “Across Europe 38 per cent of bee and hoverfly species are in decline and over three million hectares of these habitats have been lost in England alone since the 1930s. We want to take action now to protect these species which are vital for the many things we need including pollinating our native wild plants and our food crops.


“We're already doing some fantastic work across the city from creating a community woodland with 50,000 trees to planting wildflowers on grass verges. We're changing the way we work at the council too and are using new methods of weed control without the use of chemicals (Glyphosate based products).


“We know we can all do more and we want to work with residents and businesses to make York more pollinator friendly.”


If approved, the council will adopt the new Pollinator Strategy and ensure the needs of pollinators are represented in local plans, policy and guidance – to help us all protect and increase pollinators.


The strategy will be taken to an Executive meeting for approval on Thursday 18 March from 5.30pm and is available to watch later online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts.