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Schools in Caithness urged to join up to protect UK's declining bee population

18th August 2015

Photograph of Schools in Caithness urged to join up to protect UK's declining bee population

The Polli:Nation project - developed by the national school grounds charity, Learning through Landscapes (LTL)- will encourage school children and volunteers in 260 schools across the UK to transform their outdoor spaces into pollinator-friendly habitats. The three-year project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will also reach out to communities and families that have an interest in getting involved.

As from January 2016, each school involved will be supported by a Polli:Nation facilitator from LTL, enabling them to grow pollinator friendly plants and meadow areas, to develop areas that encourage habitats (such as bee houses, bug hotels, and bee-hives), whilst letting areas of the school grounds become wild. The project will also help schools and communities to learn more about reducing pesticides. In Caithness, schools will have the opportunity to put these skills into practice to conserve one of the UK's rarest bumblebees, the great yellow bumblebee, linking to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust's existing project in the county.

Those involved in Polli:Nation will also have the opportunity to contribute vital data in the first ever UK-wide pollinator survey. The children and communities will be equipped with all of the necessary tools and skills to help scientists to develop an accurate understanding of the current state of the habitats for Britain's pollinating insects, and the potential to develop these further.

Interested schools in Caithness are urged to officially register their interest before the 21st September deadline. To sign up or find out further information visit the website at , or email pollination[AT]
David Hodd Learning through Landscapes' Project Manager, explains, "We are delighted that Polli:Nation has now been officially launched. This is a critical time for pollinating insects in Britain, as the loss of their natural and semi natural habitats has led to a severe decline in their population. The Polli:Nation project has been designed to protect the insects' future, by increasing their habitats whilst educating children about the ways we can prevent their decline, providing them with everything they need to facilitate growth in habitats."

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust are one of the delivery partners in this project. Katy Malone, Conservation Officer (Scotland) for the BBCT said, "This is a truly wonderful project to be part of. Through all the tools and teaching provided through grants to schools, children can learn practical skills and knowledge that are vital to making sure essential pollinators such as bumblebees, both rare and common, have a sustainable future".

The Polli:Nation project has been developed by Learning through Landscapes along with other sector partners including The Field Studies Council, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, OPAL Imperial College London, Stirling University, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and The Conservation Volunteers. - Bees

Great Yellow Bumblebee

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