The importance of urban environments for supporting pollinator populations is a topic that I’ve covered several times on the blog, for example: “Urban pollinators for urban agriculture” and “Urban bee diversity – a new study“. It’s a subject that’s generating a lot of interest at the moment with some really exciting research being published and conservation practice taking place. However there’s clearly a lot to do if we are really to understand where pollinators are distributed across out townscapes, and how we can best manage urban habitats to support this diversity and increase their numbers – here’s a link to an interesting round table discussion on this very topic.
Recently I was invited to take part in a workshop event co-organised by Defra, NERC, and Dr Kath Baldock from Bristol University entitled: Knowledge Exchange: urban grassland management and creating space for pollinators. As well as doing a short talk which contextualised the current scientific knowledge on urban pollinators, I facilitated one of the breakout discussion sessions.
The workshop was very well attended with some 50 delegates from a wide range of organisations, including local and national authorities, businesses, NGOs, and universities. Feedback from those delegates was generally positive and most people learned something about managing urban settings for pollinators, and made some useful connections. I certainly learned a lot: it’s good to get out of academia sometimes and talk with practitioners.
If you follow this link you’ll find a PDF of the summary from the facilitated sessions, covering topics such as grassland and verge management, the urban edgeland, innovative projects, and green infrastructure.
Over at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s blog, Sam Page has a very nice summary of the whole day which is also worth reading: Trials and tribulations of managing urban grasslands for pollinators.
Many thanks to all of the organisers for their work in putting on this event.