Get Cumbria Buzzing!
Help create havens for bees, butterflies and other pollinators
North West Cumbria is home to an amazing variety of wild pollinators including bumblebees, hoverflies, solitary bees, butterflies and moths.
Pollinators maybe tiny but their impact is huge. Fundamental to the web of life, pollinators help provide one third of the food we eat, pollinate more than 80% of our flowering plants and contribute around £690 million a year to the UK economy.
Get your garden buzzing and put your postcode on our map
If you have planted for pollinators, simply add your postcode to the map we have created to plot habitat that is pollinator friendly.
Get Cumbria Buzzing animation
We are very proud to announce that our 'Get Cumbria Buzzing!' animation has won a Bronze Award in the People's Choice category in the Charity Film Awards 2020.
We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted, and made this possible. We hope this fun and engaging animation helps spread the message about how important pollinating insects are, and how small changes in the way we manage our gardens and green spaces can make a huge difference.
Thank you Haltwhistle Film Project who helped create such an inspiring bee-friendly animation, please click on the link below to watch our 'Get Cumbria Buzzing!' animation.
Pollinators are struggling and need our help.
Our wild pollinators are in trouble. More than half of UK bee, butterfly and moth species have declined in the past 50 years, and 30 species of bees face extinction. Over the last 75 years we’ve lost 97% of our flower rich meadows, 50% of our hedgerows, and 60% of flowering plants are in decline.
This is largely due to the intensification of agriculture, the increased urbanisation of our villages, towns and cities, and the construction and expansion of major road networks. Much of the remaining flower rich habitat on which our pollinators depend, is now seriously fragmented or degraded.
To combat this loss, we’re working with local communities, and we have joined forces with National Highways (formerly Highways England) and a wide range of partners to take action for pollinators across North West Cumbria.
Our partners include: Copeland Borough Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Solway Coast AONB, Butterfly Conservation, Buglife, Cumbria Biodiversity Centre, National Highways (formerly Highways England), Workington Nature Partnership, National Trust and Florence Arts Centre.
Together, we will create 115 hectares of wildflower rich habitat across North West Cumbria to help boost pollinators - that's an area half the size of Maryport.
We plan to create pollinator friendly havens at 62 sites in North West Cumbria along pollinator pathways known as ‘B-lines’. Researched and mapped by Buglife, B-Lines are a series of ‘best fit’ pathways that run through our towns and countryside and have the potential to link fragmented habitats.
This project aims to provide vital stepping stones of flower rich habitat. These stepping stones will enable our wild pollinators to move freely along the B-lines network across North West Cumbria.
Take a look at the planned network for pollinators below:
Using innovative techniques, we will provide a diverse range of habitats along the A66 and A595 Strategic Road Networks. This will include short flowering lawns, flower rich grassland, sunny banks, glades, and tussocky areas for overwintering refuge. Important pollinator plants such as goat willow, devil’s-bit scabious, clovers and trefoils will help provide forage from spring to autumn.
Help prevent an insect apocalypse!
On 1 July 2020 Prof Dave Goulson gave an illustarted online talk for Get Cumbria Buzzing! on how can we can all help to prevent an insect apocalypse. Watch his fantastic presentation here and discover how we can tackle this crisis, by turning our gardens into oases for wildlife and fundamentally changing the way we grow food.
Click below for recordings of our webinar series
- An introduction to identifying and recording butterflies: Common species
- An introduction to identifying and recording butterflies: Specialist species
- Pollinator friendly gardening: Planters for pollinators
- Pollinator friendly gardening: Edible plants to attract pollinators
- Pollinator friendly gardening: Creating new plants for pollinators
- The Importance of Pollinators with Steven Falk
Get Your Garden Buzzing - Tips for making your green space pollinator friendly
The Secret Life of Flies with Dr Erica McAlister
Join us to #GetCumbriaBuzzing - By spreading the word and encouraging everyone to grow pollinator friendly plants, together we can make a real difference.
Simple actions you can take today:
Join the ‘Buzz’ events
Pollinator themed arts and craft
Volunteering conservation days
Donate to Help Pollinators
Your donation will help restore and create diverse habitats for our pollinators.
Become a ‘Buzz’ volunteer
We need your help restoring 115 hectares of habitat for pollinators.
Record the ‘Buzz’
Have you seen a bee, butterfly, hoverfly, wasp, fly or moth? We'd love to hear from you.
Your sightings will give vital information on pollinators across Cumbria. They’ll be added to the Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre database, providing county and national records.
Download our free Wild Bee Spotter Sheet for pollinator identification tips by clicking the link below (PDF)
Download our free Help Bees Action pack for simple tips to help pollinators by clicking the link below (PDF)
Download our beginner's guide to wild pollinators in Cumbria
Download our beginners guide to gardening for pollinators by clicking the link below (PDF)
Why are flower rich havens positive for people, pollinators and other wildlife?
- Flower rich grassland is prime pollinator habitat. However, since the 1940s, ninety-seven per cent of flower rich grassland has been lost and sixty per cent of wildflowers are in decline.
- As little as 1-2% of flower rich habitat – even a garden or park – is enough to have a significant impact on populations of wild bumblebees. Small increases in flowering plants in spring and summer can have a big effect, raising the survival rate of queen bumblebees up to four times.
- A mix of long grasses and nectar rich flowers provide food and shelter for pollinators.
- Not so tidy but full of life, tall grasses and other ‘wilder’ habitats provide vital food, shelter and overwintering refuge for many of our bumblebees, butterflies and other insects.
- Wildflowers and other nectar rich flowers bring colour to our roads, housing estates and greenspaces.
What’s the potential of roadside verges for pollinators?
- More than 700 species of wild plants are known to exist on our roadside verges. Therefore, roadside verges are a vital refuge for our wildflowers and a valuable resource for pollinators, but to maintain them they need our care and attention.
- Road verges have the potential to become valuable corridors of habitat for our butterflies, bees, and other pollinators to travel through the landscape especially in urban or intensively farmed areas.
- As well as being an important wildlife refuge, roadside verges bring colour to our everyday lives, brighten up our commute to work and every day travel, and help us connect with nature.
- For the 155,000 people commuting to work by road every day in Cumbria, road verges can be their only daily contact with nature. Too few people living in deprived and urban areas have easy access to wildlife.
- Managed correctly verges not only have the potential to support healthy populations of pollinators and increase biodiversity, they also capture carbon, improve air quality, help regulate the climate, reduce flood risk and noise, and bring colour to the roads.
Meet our 'Get Cumbria Buzzing' team
Get Cumbria Buzzing! Admin & Finance Officer: Edward Evans. Email or call Edward 01228 829577
We'd like to say a massive 'thank you' to our funders:
The National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Highways (formerly Highways England), Allerdale Borough Council, Solway Coast AONB, Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust, Tesco, Hadfield Trust, Rees Jeffreys Road Fund and Cumbria Local Nature Partnership.
Administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, additional funders include Robin Rigg West Cumbria Fund, Fairfield Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, Winscales Moor Community Benefit Fund, and United Utilities Legacy Fund,
Developed by Cumbria Local Nature Partnership, and delivered by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Get Cumbria Buzzing! is a partnership project that includes the following organisations: