HLF funds schools' landscaping project to boost pollinator numbers

A new £1.4 million Heritage Lottery Fund award will fund schools' landscaping projects to boost pollinator populations.

Bees are important pollinators
Bees are important pollinators

Charity Learning through Landscapes’ Polli:Nation project will pay for 260 schools to transform school grounds and local community spaces into pollinator-friendly habitats.

Executive director of Learning through Landscapes, which works to promote and enhance outdoor learning and play, Juno Hollyhock said: "We believe that this important and inspiring project will help children and young people to learn about the development of their natural environments, both in and out of their school grounds, teaching them that the changes we make to our surroundings can have a profound effect on critical issues such as our deteriorating habitats."

The award comes the publication of a report by the Natural Capital Committee which showed the decline in our natural environment is harmful to the economy, with the value of natural pollination by insects estimated at £430m a year to UK agriculture. Pollinating insects are in severe decline, with the loss of natural and semi-natural habitats thought to be one of the main reasons.

HLF head of landscape and natural heritage Drew Bennellick said: "The huge contribution that our pollinators make to the country often goes unacknowledged but recent research has shown that they not only help our environment flourish but also have a real economic impact. We need to do all we can to halt the decline in pollinator habitats and schools can play a crucial role in turning the tide.

"The project reaches an impressive 260 schools nationwide giving it the potential to make a real difference. But it will also equip children with the skills and knowledge to connect to nature, something which the Heritage Lottery Fund sees as invaluable if we are to protect our pollinators for the future."  

Charity Buglife also welcomed the project. Conservation delivery manager Vicky Kindemba called it a fantastic opportunity. Interested schools should email pollination@ltl.org.uk.




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