Six Yorkshire Water sites to bee-come pollinator superhighway habitats

A bumblebee lands on a purple Field Scabious flower
Energy and environment


Six Yorkshire Water sites have been earmarked to become part of a pollinator superhighway.

Yorkshire Water has provided £30,000 of funding for the scheme, part of the Bee Together project in partnership with Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT).

The pollinator superhighways improve wildlife diversity and try to reverse the decline of wild pollinators in the region. They act as a series of pathways weaving through the country that link existing wildlife areas together by creating and restoring wildlife patches that are rich in wildflowers.

The Bee Together project is aiming to create an unbroken network of habitat for pollinators through both the countryside and urban areas across the country.

Six Yorkshire Water sites - Fewston, Swinsty, Thruscross, Embsay, Grimwith and Barden reservoirs - have been identified as pollinator sites. Surveys are underway at the reservoirs and the work carried out will create new habitats. The project has also identified a number of community sites as habitats where pollinators will hopefully thrive.

Yasmina Gallagher from Yorkshire Water said: “Conservation efforts and improving biodiversity are key parts of our work and often go hand-in-hand with our role managing water catchments.

“We’re pleased to be involved in the Bee Together project and have already identified six of our sites that will provide perfect habitats for pollinators. Our colleagues will be volunteering their time to carry out pollinator surveys, create action plans and deliver the habitat the bees require to thrive in our area.”

Catherine Mercer, Bee Together officer, said: “The 2016 State of Nature reported 60% of bees and other pollinators are in decline. Bees continue to face a wide range of threats, from toxic pesticides to climate change, however the most significant reason for their decline is the loss of wildflower-rich habitats.

“Projects such as this one are vital in reversing these declines, through engagement, education and practical conservation. Working with Yorkshire Water on their sites is a great opportunity to protect and create pollinator habitat as part of a wider network, making a real difference for pollinators locally.”