Kent’s Plan Bee is the local authority’s pollinator action plan and sets out how residents, businesses and voluntary groups can help bees, wasps, butterflies, moths and other creatures essential to our biodiversity.
The Bees’ Needs Champion is a government award, coordinated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that recognises and celebrates examples of exceptional initiatives undertaken by local authorities, community groups, farmers and businesses to support pollinators.
Kent’s Plan Bee has so far seen the council adjust the way it cuts its hedgerows, urban, and rural vegetation to better support habitats. It has also influenced land owners and building developers in the county to give over parts of their land to nature conservation, encouraging wild flowers to grow during the warmer months.
When the strategy was formally adopted by the council, KCC continued a partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) to get the very best expertise on how to carry out its aims. Other local authorities, recognising the importance of supporting pollinators, are now preparing to follow in KCC’s footsteps and adopt pollinator action plans.
Chairman of Kent’s Plan Bee, Seán Holden, said: “Kent’s Plan Bee was started by me and KCC officer Allison Campbell-Smith in her spare time, with the aim of campaigning to improve habitats for pollinators.
“The strategy has led the way to us encouraging residents and businesses to do what they can to support these fantastic creatures.
“Be it keeping a window box or giving some of your land over to rewilding, we can all do something to support our vital pollinator friends. A third of all the food we eat comes to us through pollinators.”
“I congratulate all those involved in the continuing success of this important strategy.”
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Susan Carey, said: “Kent’s Plan Bee has received a warm welcome across the county and thoroughly deserves this national award. I congratulate all those involved in the continuing success of this important strategy.”
CEO of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Gill Perkins, said: “Kent’s Plan Bee is a blueprint for other councils to follow. The project has highlighted the concern around pollinators and provided innovative and creative tools and activities for communities and people everywhere to help our declining wild bees and other pollinators by providing and promoting simple positive actions. It has been an overwhelming success, meeting ambitious targets and inspiring the people of Kent to act for pollinators. A wonderful outcome.”
Notes to editors
Kent’s Plan Bee was nominated for the Bees’ Needs Champion by Matthew Balfour, Chairman of the Kent Nature Partnership.