West Country Buzz

West Country Buzz covers the whole of the North Devon coast, and focuses on two of the rarest bees in the county; the Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) and the Moss carder bee (Bombus muscorum). Once widespread in Devon, these nationally declining species are now restricted to fragmented parts of the North Devon coastline.

We are working in partnership with landowners, farmers and volunteers to survey and monitor bumblebees, which are under-recorded in Devon and create joined up flower-rich habitat. West Country Buzz is a front-runner project, piloting Defra’s Nature Recovery Network initiative. We are working to restore these bumblebee species that we have largely lost from our countryside.

The project will provide free, bespoke advice to landowners, farmers, holiday parks, golf courses, small holders and large estates to increase the amount of bumblebee-friendly habitat and to join it up at a landscape scale. The target bumblebees are in decline in the area largely due to a lack of flower-rich habitat, and habitat fragmentation. We are helping to create more habitat by working with landowners to make changes to management, such as changing the grazing regime to rotational grazing which promotes more flowering, or controlling bracken to allow space for wildflowers to come back. We are also helping to create new meadows, and are supporting our volunteers to establish wildflowers in their local green spaces.

Results are already being delivered, including helping to set up new BeeWalks across North Devon to monitor bumblebees; raising awareness through walks, talks and other events; and helping to create wildflower habitat on road verges, grasslands and holiday parks.

Further information

Partners and collaborators

Natural England, North Devon AONB, DWT, RSPB, Torridge Council, Ruda Holiday Park, The Pickwell Foundation, FWAG SW, Tarka Country Trust, North Devon Biosphere, University of Plymouth, DBRC, Braunton Countryside Centre, Mid Devon Natural History Society, Brandis Corner Wildlife Group, Devon Local Nature Partnership, National Trust.

Funding

West Country Buzz has received funding from Natural England, Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation, The Dulverton Trust, The Banister Charitable Trust, Schroder Charitable Trust and G F Eyre Charitable Trust. We would also like to thank the following funders who generously contributed to the project: Yeo Valley, John Lewis Partnership, Anson Charitable Trust and Naturesave Trust.

      

Get involved

For more information, or to arrange a farm visit please contact alex.worsley@bumblebeeconservation.org

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Registered Charity No. 1115634 / Scottish Charity No. SC042830

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