The North Pennines AONB Partnership has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for their Nectarworks project, it was announced today.
Steep banks often support some of the
richest flower communities
(c) NPAP & Rebecca Barrett
The project aims to restore and strengthen the network of flower-rich nectar sources across the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) through targeted management and expansion of the best examples of rare flower-rich grassland and pro-active involvement of local communities.
AONB Partnership staff will now set to work developing the project in greater detail with a view to applying for the full grant later this year.
Rebecca Barrett, Project Development Officer for the Partnership, said “we are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund supports our proposals. If we are successful with our full application, Nectarworks will enable us to work with farmers and smallholders across the AONB to conserve and enhance the very best areas of flower-rich grassland that remain.”
A survey carried out in the North Pennines in 2010 showed the importance of flower-rich grasslands for rare species like the moss carder bee. Rebecca added “creatures like this have disappeared from much of the rest of the country owing to the loss of flower-rich grassland. But with important areas of these grasslands still remaining in the North Pennines, there is time to prevent their loss and so to retain the wildlife that depends on them.” A further finding of the survey was the important role that gardens play in providing sources of nectar for bumblebees, particularly in the spring and autumn. Through Nectarworks, the AONB Partnership plans to build on these findings by working with schools, local residents and volunteers to improve their grounds and gardens for bumblebees.
“We hope to develop the idea of our landscape supporting a network of nectar sources” said Rebecca. “Through Nectarworks, we plan to help people take action to strengthen this network by increasing the diversity of plants present, whether they have a whole farm, a single meadow or a small garden”,
If the AONB Partnership secures support from the Heritage Lottery Fund at the second stage, the Nectarworks project will be launched in the spring of 2013.
Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “Through this engaging project people will have the chance to get actively involved in our natural heritage. Farmers, smallholders and volunteers will be able to learn about how to best protect these important habitats and species for the future and share with others the important role they play in our lives. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be giving our initial support to this project that will help people connect with the natural world.”
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