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Flower-rich grasslands - brilliant for bumblebees

6th August 2014

Photograph of Flower-rich grasslands - brilliant for bumblebees

If you want to encourage a sward of wildflowers on your land, and help bumblebees pollinate the countryside, then the coastal grassland workshop at Castletown, near Thurso, Caithness on 19th August 2014 can meet your needs.

Scotland's coastline is made up of a unique collection of habitats, all influenced by proximity to the sea. These maritime grasslands along the north coast are particularly important for the wildlife they support, maintained by traditional grazing patterns.

Unfortunately the good flower-rich swards are becoming fragmented and isolated from each other, and bumblebees, including the Great Yellow Bumblebee - a north coast speciality – are having a difficult time surviving.

Davie Black, Conservation Co-ordinator for Plantlife Scotland said: "These stunningly beautiful coastal strips, bright with wild flowers like Scottish Primrose, Harebell and Fragrant Orchid, are a by product of traditional farming practices but are becoming few and far between these days. This workshop for land managers will look at how to fit the grazing of flower-rich fields into the farm business and help our natural wild pollinators too."

Run by Plantlife Scotland and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, along with Alan Boulton, an experienced shepherd and land advisor, participants will be able to get out on to a flower-filled field and see first-hand what grazing can achieve. There will be detailed information on management options to maintain and improve coastal swards; choice of stock, timing of grazing, patterns of stock movement – all essential components to maintain the richness of the northern coast.

If you are interested in managing your coastal strip to improve the habitat for wildflowers, bumblebees and other wild pollinators then you can get more information or book your place on this workshop by calling Plantlife Scotland on 01786 469778, or email scotland[AT]plantlife.org.uk

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