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Minister launches plan to keep Welsh bees busy
The Welsh Government’s draft Action Plan for Pollinators for Wales is partly in response to a 2011 assessment which showed that bee and other pollinator populations have been in steady decline across the UK for the last 30 years.
As twenty percent of the UK cropped area is made up of pollinator dependent crops and a wide selection of flowering plants in Wales rely on insect pollination for reproduction, the decline in pollinators poses a real threat to Wales’ wildlife and could impact on food production capacity.
Last summer the Welsh Government announced it would be taking action to protect the populations of honeybees, bumblebees, hoverflies, butterflies and other pollinating insects in Wales.
Since then the Welsh Government has undertaken research, evidence gathering and close working with key partners, and has now set out its vision for protecting pollinators in Wales.
Speaking about the new action plan that is out for consultation, Alun Davies said,
“We know that estimates put the value of pollinators to the UK at over £430 million per annum and that they provide a vital ecosystem service. However despite this pollinator populations have been on the decline for the last 30 years and if we don’t take prompt action this trend will continue.
“There has been a great deal of interest in our work to protect pollinator populations in Wales. The draft action plan sets out our vision for the best way forward and I would urge anyone with an interest to consider the content of the plan and feed back their comments.
“Pollinators are vital to our future health and well being so it is important that we all work together to get this plan right.”
The draft action plan looks at how the Welsh Government and its partners can promote diverse and connected flowering habitats across farmland, the wider countryside and in towns and cities. It also looks at how Welsh Government can support healthy pollinator populations and raise awareness of this important issue across Wales.
Suggested actions set out in the plan include:
- Ensuring farming schemes support land management practices that protect pollinators
- Revising guidance to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty so that their land management better supports pollinator populations
- Ensuring and supporting the provision of green spaces and allotments across Wales
- Promoting pollinator friendly gardening
- W orking with stakeholders to monitor the use of pesticides; and considering any new evidence and bans introduced
- Working with schools to raise awareness in schools of the importance of pollinators and pollinator friendly gardening
- Issuing best practice guidance to local authorities to support pollinator friendly practices
- Promoting pollinator friendly advice to farmers via the Farming Connect programme and through Gwlad magazine.