Pollinator strategy creating a buzz in Southend

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is seeking residents’ views and comments on an updated pollinator strategy, which looks at improving and increasing habitats for pollinators across the borough.

Pollinators play a key role in fertilising plants, in turn improving the local eco-system and creating a habitat for pollinators to thrive in the town. In short, pollinators eat pollen and nectar from flowers, it sticks to their bodies, it transfers between flowers they visit, and this fertilises the plants visited and allows the plants to reproduce and grow fruits and seeds.

The council is committed to delivering on the following outcomes, which form part of the strategy:

• More, bigger, better, joined-up, diverse and high-quality flower-rich habitats (including nesting places and shelter) supporting our pollinators across the borough

• Healthy bees and other pollinators which are more resilient to climate change and severe weather events

• Enhanced awareness across the borough including a greater public understanding of the essential needs of pollinators

• Evidence of actions taken to support pollinators

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “There are so many plants across the town, in fields, parks, gardens and natural open spaces that we often take for granted.

“However, they could not flourish without their pollen being spread by bees and hundreds of species of other insects – hoverflies, wasps, moths, beetles and butterflies.

“There is evidence that populations are less healthy and abundant than they have been in the past and if action is not taken, their decline will have serious implications for food production, ornamental gardens and the countryside.

“We’ve put together our own local pollination strategy to ensure our Borough is playing a full and active role in countering this worrying trend. We want our strategy to be as robust as possible, which is why we invite local people to comment on it and shape the final strategy that we put into action.

“This is a really important strategy and something that will require lots of feedback if we’re to provide an improved eco-system, not only for plants and wildlife, but for our residents too.”

The consultation, which went live Tuesday 15 December and runs until Tuesday 16 February, can be found at www.southend.gov.uk/beehappy

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