Following successful pilot grassland management projects to improve biodiversity in Gwent Local Authorities, this year the Nature Isn’t Neat management approach is being coordinated to cover wider areas across Gwent, with the mission to make it “pollinator friendly” by allowing more wildflowers to grow in our green spaces.
The project, to be carried out as part of the Gwent Green Grid partnership, will engage local communities in South East Wales, raise awareness of pollinator decline and encourage community ownership and empowerment to take action that will help them recover.
Nature Isn’t Neat will establish a joint approach to green space management, also known as green infrastructure (GI), to create wildflower-rich pollinator habitats in 5 local authority areas (Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen) A code of action and training program for officers will be delivered, supporting effective pollinator management in the region.
The project will also contribute to the development of pollinator policies for local authorities and other relevant organizations to ensure large-scale land improvement for pollinators, creating resilient ecological networks.
Activities and events are planned for 2022 to promote wildflower and pollinator management, so watch for further updates on the website (www.monlife.co.uk/outdoor/nature-isnt-neat/) or follow on Twitter @Natureisntneat and @Gwentgreengrid for all the latest news.
Cabinet Member of Monmouthshire County Council for the Climate Emergency, Cllr. Jane Pratt said: “In the New Year, we are delighted to be able to build on the progress made within each of the local authorities to improve grassland biodiversity, including Nature Isn’t Neat in Monmouthshire. Pollinators are a vital part of ecosystems; most plants need pollen from another flower to complete their life cycle and produce fruit and seeds.
Bees, butterflies and many other insects perform this free service, pollinating 88% of wild plants and 75% of cultivated species worldwide. However, pollinators are in trouble. Since the 1980s, half of all pollinator species have become less common, and bee and hoverfly populations have declined by 30%. Although progress has been made, thanks to changes such as our selective mowing policy, there is still work to be done and this year offers many fantastic opportunities to make a difference.
Gwent has many endangered pollinator species, including the nationally rare shrill carder bee, which has one of its strongholds on the Gwent Levels.
Changes to help keep flowering species alive longer not only provide food and habitats for pollinators and other species, but also increase water uptake, provide carbon sequestration and improve soil health. Research suggests that creating environments that harbor a wider range of wildlife benefits people’s health and mental well-being, while encouraging them to slow down and enjoy viewing flowers, insects and other wild animals.
Councilor Lisa Dymock, Monmouthshire Cabinet Member responsible for green infrastructure, said: “We are delighted with the coordination of the Nature is not Neat approach through the Gwent Green Grid Partnership, as this strategy is crucial in response to biodiversity decline and challenges. of climate change. Using the Nature is not Neat approach, the project aims to improve the outlook for wildlife, providing crucial stepping stones for species to move between good habitat areas regionally.
This project is part of a series of programs that will be carried out under the Gwent Green Grid partnership project, which is supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Invests in Rural Areas and is funded by the Welsh Government Natural Resources and Well Empowerment Grant.
To find out more about the Gwent Green Grid, visit: www.monlife.co.uk/outdoor/green-infrastructure/green-infrastructure-partnerships-projects/gwent-green-grid-partnership
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