Wild flower pilot begins bee initiative

The Co-operative is to create a series of "bee roads" through the planting of wild flower meadows on corridors of land across the country.

As part of its £750,000 Plan Bee campaign, the Co-op is spending £60,000 on a pilot project to reinstate 5ha of lost wild flower meadows in Yorkshire.

The project, run in partnership with Buglife, will encourage landowners to create wild flower meadows using species such as Lesser Knapweed, Field Scabious, Birdsfoot Trefoil and Red Clover to create food-rich areas for pollinators.

Co-operative head of social goals Paul Monaghan said: "The UK has lost an alarming 97 per cent of its wild flower meadows since the 1930s and this has had a major impact on pollinator numbers.

He added: "The number of honeybees in the UK has halved in the past 25 years, and three quarters of butterfly species and two thirds of moths have seen populations decline since the 1970s. As honeybees pollinate a third of the food we eat, further decline could have a devastating impact on our diets in the long run."

As part of the initiative, 300,000 packets of wild flower seed mix will be given away throughout the year.

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