The Polli:Nation project was recognised by the National Lottery Awards for its work, beating 700 other projects and six other finalists. We were voted for by the public as the winner of the “Best Environmental Project” category 2018 at the National Lottery Good Causes awards.
Polli:Nation worked with 260 schools and 35,000 pupils across the UK – from the tip of Cornwall to John O Groats.
Pupils have led practical and active conservation efforts to protect the last colonies of Long-horned bees in Cornwall, while on the coast of Northern Scotland pupils have been planting and surveying to support the Great yellow bumblebee in its last remaining home.
Across Wales, Northern Ireland and England teachers and pupils have identified our pollinators, created habitats and homes for them and become ambassadors for these key species.
The largest colony of Lady’s Tresses Orchid (and only the 6th site in the country) was uncovered in Cambridge House school in Northern Ireland – simply by identifying a potentially wildlife rich area of grassland and letting it grow.
Three schools were recognised by DEFRA as Bees’ Needs Champions and the project itself won an award for its contribution in 2018.
Why should I take action?
A number of studies released in 2018 have shown dramatic declines in insect populations from the rainforests of Puerto Rico to our own countryside.
Three quarters of UK butterfly populations are in decline (Butterfly Conservation) and a recent study in Germany (2018) compiling data from across the country showed a similar decline in all insect numbers (76% decline in 30 years).
A 2014 UK government report showed an overall decline in nearly all of our 260+ species of bee.
What can I do?
Insects – which includes all of our pollinators – need your help.
They are homeless and hungry. By creating habitats in your garden, local spaces, roof tops, balconies or wherever you can, you can provide them with pollen and nectar: food where there may be none.
You can plant a wide variety of plants and flowers (wherever you can and for as long as you can!) between February and October; this will cater for their different needs and the varied times they emerge.
Be untidy! Hoverfly larvae need small amounts of standing water to grow and hatch and beetle grubs can often be found in leaf litter and dead wood.
Tell your friends; make this a movement and something to be proud off. Insects – specifically pollinating insects – are a key part of every food chain. Without them we will have fewer foods, less beautiful wildlife to enjoy and certainly a poorer world for future generations.