Pollinating the Peak – an initiative to transform the Peak District and Derbyshire into a flagship of action and knowledge for bumblebees and wild pollinators – has won funding of £25,000 in the national Aviva Community Fund competition.
The judges announced the Bumblebee Conservation Trust-led project as winner on 10 January, scoring it highly against very strong competition. Pollinating the Peak reached the finals by securing more than 13,500 votes in an online public vote last autumn.
“This is fantastic news for our project to make the Peak District and Derbyshire a bumblebee haven and a centre of knowledge about our vital wild pollinators. Local support during the online vote was amazing – huge thanks to everyone who voted!” said Sally Cuckney, Pollinating the Peak Development Manager.
Pollinating the Peak aims to inspire people and communities to get involved to create bee-friendly habitats, help monitor bumblebees, and learn conservation skills. Secondary schools will be able to take part in an innovative educational programme, and the project will include a focus on the iconic but rare Bilberry bumblebee.
Improvements to gardens and habitats will benefit people too, including by increasing opportunities to enjoy wildlife and nature, and by boosting awareness of the region’s natural heritage.
Bumblebees pollinate many of our crops, but their populations have crashed with some species already extinct or fighting extinction. Loss of flower-rich habitat is the biggest threat to bumblebees’ survival, with 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows lost since the Second World War. Climate change, disease and pesticides, including neonicotinoids, may also be major threats.
Partners in Pollinating the Peak are Chatsworth, Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Little Green Space, Moors for the Future Partnership, Peak District National Park, and Visit Peak District & Derbyshire.
Aviva Community Fund supports and recognizes important causes in local communities. “We’re delighted to finally reveal the winners. With a total of over five million votes cast, the competition between projects was really tough,” said the organisers.