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Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

UK Schools can now apply to become a part of the Polli:Nation!

260 schools will be chosen to participate in the first nationwide project to promote pollinating insects in school grounds

Schools across the UK can now apply to become a part of the Polli:Nation project, a new campaign to develop environments in school grounds that provide much needed food and shelter for Britain’s pollinating insects.

The project, developed by the national school grounds charity, Learning through Landscapes (LTL)- will enable school children in 260 different schools in the UK to transform their outdoor spaces to increase declining habitats over a three year period.

To apply, schools (primary, secondary ASN or special needs), are being asked to put together a joint application as a cluster with 3 other schools before 5th November. As well as basic information about the schools, clusters will need to explain what they hope to achieve, and why they would make a good Polli:Nation school.

School clusters will be selected partly by the social and environmental need, but mostly on the strength of their commitment to the project amongst school management teams, and the quality of collaboration between schools and the wider community.

More details can be found at www.ltl.org.uk/pollination/getinvolved.php

Polli Nation Pic 2015 

Following the application process, successful schools will begin their project in January 2016- and as a part of the programme they will receive support from a Polli:Nation facilitator from LTL. This facilitator will enable and support them to grow pollinator friendly plants and meadow areas and will support them in developing environments that encourage habitats (such as bee houses, bug hotels, and bee-hives), whilst letting areas of the school grounds become wild. The project will also act as a platform to allow schools and communities to learn more about reducing pesticides.

David Hodd, Learning through Landscapes’ Project Manager, explains, “We have already heard from a huge number of schools showing great interest in applying to for the Polli:Nation project. Many schools in the UK already have a firm understanding that increasing the habitats of pollinating insects, can have a profound effect on important issues, such as our declining bee population. This project will equip these schools with everything they need to increase such habitats, whilst teaching children about critical environmental issues.”

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the programme also aims to reach out to communities and families that wish to be involved, encouraging an overall increase in declining pollinating insect habitats in the UK.

The children and communities involved in Polli:Nation will also have the opportunity to contribute their vital data in a UK-wide pollinator survey that will help to develop a more accurate understanding of the current state of the habitats for Britain’s pollinating insects, and the potential to develop these further.

Colin McLean, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “Having suffered a huge decline in numbers in recent decades, pollinating insects need a helping hand from us, and Polli:Nation gets a lot of little hands helping- all across the UK. We are delighted to support this worthwhile project.”

The Polli:Nation project has been developed by Learning through Landscapes along with other sector partners including The Field Studies Council, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, OPAL Imperial College London, Stirling University, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and The Conservation Volunteers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015