Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it is launching a new fund to protect bees, describing them as vital to preserving the natural beauty of the environment and the UK’s £100 billion food industry.
The new £60,000 fund will be used to develop and test pollinator habitat mapping, which identifies where new habitats will provide the greatest benefit for bees and other pollinators.
It will be delivered in partnership with Natural England, Buglife, The Wildlife Trusts and other bodies working on protecting the UK’s bee population, and is part of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.
The new funding follows the UK Government voting in favour of restrictions on three neonicotinoid type insecticides in April, due to their harmful effects on bees and other pollinators. The measures will come into force at the end of the year.
Andrew Stephenson MP said: “Many Pendle residents have contacted me concerned about the decline of our bee population, and the vital role they play in our natural environment and economy.
“I strongly welcome this new fund to explore how we can help restore the UK’s bee population.”
Ben Bradley MP, the Conservative MP for Mansfield who led the campaign on pollinator habitat mapping, said: “I am pleased that the government is taking action to support pollinators and that they have incorporated ideas from my Pollinator Bill within their plans. Providing funding for pollinator mapping and supporting the creation of wildflower rich habitat will help protect our bees and other insects including butterflies and moths.
“This announcement is great news for our environment, and it shows the Secretary of State’s commitment to protecting our pollinators and the Government’s commitment to a greener future.”
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Bees and other pollinators are vital contributors to the beauty of our landscapes, our economy and our £100 billion food industry.
“Today’s announcement to fund pollinator mapping shows our clear commitment to help these wonderful creatures to thrive by creating wildflower rich areas around our towns and countryside.”