Crawley park helping to flag up importance of pollinators

Buchan Country Park lake SUS-150723-111729001
Buchan Country Park lake SUS-150723-111729001

A meadow at Buchan Country Park, near Crawley, has been highlighted as West Sussex County Council is promoting the importance of pollinating insects such as butterflies, bumblebees and beetles.

The council says it has published a new ‘Pollinator Action Plan’ which sets out how these vital species will be protected.

“Pollinators are an integral part of our existence. Without them our food supply, wildlife and countryside would cease to exist,” said Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment.

“There are over 4,000 species in the UK and impending habitat loss, pesticides and climate change are threatening their very existence.”

The council’s Pollinator Action Plan aims to help sustain pollinator species across the county, and is built around five central aims:

To ensure the needs of pollinators are represented in local plans, policy and guidance where relevant.

To protect, increase and enhance the amount of pollinator habitat in West Sussex, prevent any extinction and improve the status of any locally threatened species.

To increase awareness of pollinators and their habitat needs amongst local residents, businesses and other landowners.

To increase the contribution to pollinator conservation of land under the ownership of, or managed by the County Council.

5. To improve knowledge and understanding of pollinators in the region.

Deborah added: “We were already looking at pollinators through our work to improve air quality and our ‘Better Breathing’ strategy, but this additional level of focus will now build on this and help us to ensure that the beauty and prosperity of our local environment continues for generations to come.”

The County Council has been running a ‘Notable Road Verge’ scheme since the 1970s and for over four decades has identified and managed over 50 miles of species-rich road verge to maintain their value for pollinators.

The County Council also manages several countryside sites such as Fairmile Bottom and Halnaker Windmill where wildlife and biodiversity thrive, for the public to enjoy.

The meadow at Buchan Country Park is cut specifically to promote wildflower diversity to provide opportunities for a wide range of pollinators including bees, butterflies, moths and hoverflies. Glade management within woodland is undertaken to promote opportunities for woodland flowers and their pollinators.

Shared use paths such as Downs Link, Worth Way, and Forest Way are also managed to promote biodiversity, providing wildlife corridors within the landscape including shelter and food opportunities for pollinators.