A wide-reaching strategy which aims to address the causes of decline in populations, diversity and range of Scottish pollinator species and help them thrive in future has been approved by Aberdeenshire councillors.
The Aberdeenshire Council Pollinator Action Plan 2019-2021 features five key objectives to make the region a more pollinator-friendly area by preventing further loss of flower-rich habitat, creating new areas of suitable habitat and enhancing connectivity between them, raising awareness and encouraging action across all sectors.
Members of the council’s Sustainability Committee recently welcomed the action plan which will see action taken across council services to meet the key objectives.
It will help raise awareness of the importance of pollinators in food production and in ecosystems and also contribute to the monitoring and recording of pollinator populations. Another key objective will be the reduction of Aberdeenshire Council’s use of pesticides and other chemicals for pest and weed control which may have an effect on pollinator populations.
The action plan also sets out objectives to protect habitat for pollinators, including improving habitat connectivity and a strategy to protect existing areas of wildflower rich grassland.
Produced by the council’s Environment Team within Planning and Environment, the action plan will be regularly monitored to record achievements and assess any need to review the strategy prior to 2021.
Aberdeenshire Council’s two Pollinator Champions – councillors Peter Argyle and Leigh Wilson – have welcomed the adoption of the action plan.
Cllr Argyle commented: “This update of the original 2015 action plan emphasises that the conservation of pollinators continues to be a priority for Aberdeenshire Council.
“Pollinating insects are essential to healthy, functioning ecosystems as they have a key role in the reproduction of many plant species. They are also important to us humans - fertilising crops, providing food and also pollinating plants in our gardens.”
Cllr Wilson added: “Different types of pollinating insect have different requirements, but in order to survive and flourish, they generally require well connected sources of pollen and nectar throughout the flowering season together with shelter, nesting sites and appropriate spaces in which to breed and hibernate.
“By providing good habitats for pollinators we will also help to support a wide range of other invertebrates such as seed and insect-eating birds and small mammals.”