Projects across Scotland provided crucial help for bees, hoverflies and other pollinators in 2021.
A new progress report published by NatureScot highlights the huge amount of work being undertaken by a wide range of organisations and individuals to implement The Pollinator Strategy for Scotland.
Pollinators are vital for our biodiversity, but populations face challenges due to changes in land use, habitat loss, diseases, pesticides and climate change.
The aim of the strategy is to make Scotland more pollinator-friendly, halting and reversing the decline in native pollinator populations.
Despite the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, success stories in 2021 included the sowing of dozens of new wildflower meadows and improvements to road verge habitat across Scotland.
Projects also created ‘wild’ spaces in school grounds, improved community greenspaces for pollinators and established pollinator hotspots, as well as planting countless pollinator-friendly spring bulbs, fruit trees and hedgerows.
Hundreds of volunteers also signed up to do their bit for pollinators in 2021, from bulb planting and meadow maintenance to insect identification and surveying.
Jim Jeffrey, NatureScot Pollinator Strategy Manager, said: “This latest progress report comes on the back of Glasgow hosting COP26, and there is no doubt now that the twin challenges of climate change and nature loss are in the forefront of everyone’s minds.
“Scotland is doing its utmost to address pollinator declines and we are fortunate that so many individuals and organisations recognise their plight and are taking steps to help these vital insects.
“It’s particularly encouraging to see local authorities increasingly embracing opportunities to manage public spaces in a wildlife-friendly way, making space for nature by reducing mowing and planting for pollinators.
“At NatureScot we are pleased to have been able to support many projects through the Scottish Government’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund and look forward to building on this work through the new £65m Nature Restoration Fund.”
For tips for how to help pollinators at home see NatureScot’s Make Space For Nature campaign, and follow the Scottish Pollinators blog for updates on projects across Scotland.