Making a Buzz for the Coast

Foreness Point, Kent. Photo credit: Steven Falk.

Overview

Making a Buzz for the Coast project logo

This exciting and ambitious project spans 135 miles of Kent’s coastline from Dartford to Deal, and focuses on restoring and creating habitat for Kent’s wild bees, especially the Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum).

One of the primary aims of Making a Buzz for the Coast will be to safeguard rare bee populations by creating and restoring habitat and linking isolated populations together through the creation of flower-rich ‘stepping stones’ and habitat along the coast. Habitat and bee surveys will be an essential part of the project to help us build better data, evaluate our activities and monitor bee populations around the coast.

We know that to really have an impact and make a difference for all our wild bees around the coast we’re going to need as much help as possible. We will be touring the coast with a programme of events, activities, competitions and training to raise awareness about the importance of bees to Kent, build pride in the rare species that live right on peoples’ doorsteps and most importantly of all, inspire people to take some action to help.

Current and planned work

Providing habitat
The project will work with the RSPB, Thanet District Council and Thames Water on five sites to provide habitat for rare bumblebees and solitary bees. In addition, we will be working with Kent Wildlife Trust in Swale to improve roadside verges for pollinators, creating ‘Bee-roads’ and increasing habitat connectivity. Another key element of the project is supporting landowners, ranging from farmers and fruit producers to holiday parks, golf courses, small holders and large estates. We will provide free and bespoke information and advice on restoring and creating pollinator habitat.

Monitoring populations
Monitoring bumblebee populations and their habitat is essential. It provides the data needed to determine where best to put our efforts and to inform the land management advice we give. We are training and supporting people to carry out bumblebee surveys in their local areas as part of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s national recording scheme BeeWalk. To help us monitor our rare bumblebees, such as the Shrill carder bee, we are providing training to help you spot them and would encourage people to get in touch with any sightings.

Buzzing communities
The impact of our project will be greatly increased with help from local communities. We are touring the coast with a packed schedule of events, activities, competitions and free training courses. Through sharing knowledge we hope to raise awareness about the importance of bees and pollination in Kent, build pride in the rare species present and most importantly of all, inspire people to take some action to help.

Buzzing Gardens
Planting pollen and nectar rich wildflowers in your garden could provide a valuable food source for bumblebees. We are teaming up with Kent Wildlife Trust to award the Garden with the Best Buzz category as a part of their Wild About Gardens competition. You can find out how bee friendly your garden by visiting the Bee Kind section of the website.

Partners

Kent Wildlife Trust, Kent County Council, Natural England, RSPB, Swale Borough Council, Thanet District Council, Thames Water.

Funding

We would like to thank the players of the National Lottery for this contribution via the Heritage Lottery Fund. We would also like to thank the following funders who generously contributed to the project:

Chapman Charitable Trust, Clark Bradbury Charitable Trust, Dulverton Trust, John Ellerman Foundation, Kent County Council, Macintosh Foundation, R G Hills Charitable Trust, Schroder Charity Trust, Thames Water, and all those individual donors who supported our 2016 summer fundraising appeal for this project.

Get involved

Please check our Volunteering Opportunities page for details of how to get involved with this project.

For more information about the project, please email: mab@bumblebeeconservation.org

If you would like to follow the project on twitter, we have a dedicated account: @BuzzingCoast

Photo credit: Steven Falk.

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Registered Charity No. 1115634 / Scottish Charity No. SC042830

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