UK bee and pollinator advocates Polli:Nation tell us what they’ve been up to
We love bugs ‘n’ bees here at Grow Wild, so when we found out that pollinator project Polli:Nation was coming to an end we thought that it was important to celebrate the work that they’ve done. Mary Jackson, who was involved with the project, told us all about it…
Polli:Nation is a project that UK charity Learning through Landscapes have been running in 260 schools across the UK over the last three years. Its aim has been two-fold: to enthuse more children and young people to protect pollinating insects and to increase the abundance and diversity of pollinating insects in school grounds and local community spaces.
Last year Polli:Nation won the Environment section of the National Lottery Awards and was recognised as a Bees' Needs Champion by DEFRA!
In each Polli:Nation school, pupils undertook an initial survey of their grounds to find out what pollinating insects they already had. They then learnt about their needs – which plants were good for pollinators to feed on and how to develop their habitats – before planning and making changes to their grounds.
Schools created meadows, planted up pots and planters, developed growing areas, managed bee banks and created bug hotels; all designed to help homeless and hungry pollinators. More than 35,000 children and young people have been involved and many parents, local bee keepers, ecologists and gardeners have volunteered their time to help save our endangered bees and other pollinating insects.
As one Welsh pupil said: ‘The Polli:Nation project is about helping bees, and finding out what we can do to help. We’re building habitats for them, ‘cos if we don’t do anything about it, they’ll be extinct in twelve years!’
What you can do to help pollinators
Any school can help save our pollinating insects – just go to the Polli:Nation website to find loads of resources to help you make your school pollinator friendly as well as information about how to undertake the survey.
Polli:Nation is led by Learning through Landscapes in partnership with OPAL (Open Air Laboratories), Butterfly Conservation, Buglife, TCV, FSC, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and the University of Stirling.