Bee-roads plan to boost insects

Date published: 27 May 2011

AN OLDHAM MEP believes “bumblebee motorways” could be the key to a flowery future.

Lib Dem Euro-MP Chris Davies say these are strips of wildflowers that should be introduced across the UK to help preserve the vital insects for future generations.

Many plants reproduce by bumblebees and other insects carrying pollen from plant to plant and a recent dramatic decline in the number of bugs could endanger commercial crops such as apples.

Environmentalist group Buglife is pushing for local authorities to provide habitats for butterflies, moths, bumblebees and hoverflies and routes for them to move along.

The flower-filled strips would be 50 metres wide and would run alongside existing footpaths and roads.

Mr Davies wants to see the environment section of the EU agricultural budget used to pay for the scheme.

He said: “These corridors of wildflowers will provide beautiful walkways while helping to maintain insect species and wild pollinators that contribute an impressive £400 million to the UK economy each year.

“People have motorways to move around the country for work and now we need similar facilities for the tiny unsung heroes of our farming community, the humble bugs.”

Each county of England would have two lines, one running north to south and one running east to west joining together to make a national network.

Mr Davies added: “Everyone would win with this scheme from the biggest industrial farming company through the family farmer and nature enthusiasts to the tiny fauna that make our green and pleasant land what it is.”