Boost for but­ter­flies and bees in Scot­land

The Oban Times - - Outdoors -

A NEW strat­egy has been launched to make Scot­land a more ‘pol­li­na­tor-friendly’ place by pro­tect­ing in­dige­nous bee and but­ter­fly pop­u­la­tions.

Since 1980, the num­ber of pol­li­nat­ing in­sects in Scot­land has de­clined by an es­ti­mated 51 per cent.

This in­cluded honey bees, bum­ble bees, the soli­tary bee, but­ter­flies and hoverflies.

It is feared this could have a neg­a­tive im­pact on agriculture, food se­cu­rity, the econ­omy and hu­man health.

The pol­li­na­tor strat­egy calls for:

❒ the restora­tion and cre­ation of flower-rich habi­tats, greater use of green ur­ban in­fra­struc­tures, such as roof top gar­dens;

❒ the de­vel­op­ment and use of pol­li­na­tor-friendly pest con­trol,

❒ new re­search into the im­pact of cli­mate change on bee and but­ter­fly num­bers.

En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Roseanna Cun­ning­ham said: ‘Scot­land’s bio­di­ver­sity is one of our key assets, and the con­tri­bu­tion the hum­ble bum­ble bee and other pol­li­na­tors make to this won­der­ful en­vi­ron­ment should not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

‘That is why we are com­mit­ted to mak­ing Scot­land a more pol­li­na­tor-friendly place.

‘Pres­sures like land use change, pes­ti­cides, pol­lu­tion, dis­ease and cli­mate change are threat­en­ing th­ese life-giv­ing in­sects, so we must act now to pro­tect the pol­li­na­tors and, in turn, safe­guard our en­vi­ron­ment, our food and in turn our health.’

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