The six bee-friendly Yorkshire reservoirs helping to create a pollinator pathway from Leeds to Lancaster

Six reservoirs have been earmarked to become part of a network of pollinator habitats aiming to stretch from Leeds to Lancaster to help reverse the decline of wild bees.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 10:26 am

The Yorkshire Water sites have been identified as the perfect places for pollinators to thrive as part of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust Bee Together project.

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The scheme aims to create an unbroken network of habitat for pollinators with a series of pathways and wildlife areas through countryside and urban areas.

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The new habitats will form part of the B-Line, which will link together existing wildlife areas from Leeds to Lancaster.

A major report from more than 50 conservation groups in 2016 found that 60 per cent of bees and other pollinators are in decline due to a wide range of threats, including the loss of wildflower-rich habitats.

Now Yorkshire Water has provided £30,000 of funding for the Bee Together scheme, which will see work carried out to create new habitats at Fewston, Swinsty, Thruscross, Embsay, Grimwith and Barden reservoirs.

The new habitats will form part of the B-Line, which will link together existing wildlife areas in West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Lancashire by creating and restoring wildlife patches that are rich in wildflowers.

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 project officer, said: “The 2016 State of Nature reported 60 per cent 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.”