Scotland’s pollinators are in trouble, and they need your help! The expansion of urban areas and fragmentation of wild habitats have resulted in the serious decline of our pollinating insects. We need to protect our remaining wildflower areas, and create new areas that they can use to shelter and forage. CSGNT, in partnership with Buglife and the John Muir Trust, have created the Planting for Pollinators Along the John Muir Way project, aiming to create hundreds of mini-meadows along the John Muir Way, a 134 mile coast to coast walking and cycling route across central Scotland and one of Scotland's Great Trails.
Many plants rely on insects to pollinate their flowers and complete their reproductive cycle – most plants cannot set seed or produce fruit without being pollinated. Without bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other insects visiting flowers, there would be no strawberries, apples, chocolate, cherries, olives, blueberries, carrots, grapes, pumpkins, pears, cotton, plums or peanuts…. And very few flowers in our gardens and countryside.
Pollinators have often been ignored as it has been taken for granted that they would always be here. Now, it is becoming apparent that if things continue as they are, we may not have enough wild pollinators for all the crops our growing population needs. They need a range of habitats providing food, foraging, nesting and shelter, and they need us to create new areas as well as to protect the existing areas.
Wildflower-rich areas/habitats, and flowering shrubs and trees are essential to provide pollen and nectar, whereas hedgerow bottoms and uncut grasslands can provide important shelter. The priority is to make existing wildlife sites larger and then to create habitat ‘stepping stones’ between them.
So, what can you do to help? Create a pollinator patch! This can be anywhere, from your garden or allotment, to a shared greenspace, school grounds or work place. Providing you have the permission of the landowner and can look after it, that is all you need. There's loads of advice on what to actually do on our Gardening for pollinators leaflet, or the Improving school grounds leaflet, as well as the various shelters and hotels for bugs guides on the Resources page. The section for groups and individuals also has advice on appropriate seed mixes, plug plants, and local suppliers.
You will find all the information about the campaign and our activities on the following pages:
Funding for the Planting for Pollinators Along the John Muir Way project has been provided by the Greggs Foundation. Invaluable support has been provided by Buglife and the John Muir Trust.