Pollinators are a variety of species that are responsible for the pollination or fertilisation of crops and flowers, with a third of food crops, including broad beans, runner beans, blueberries and raspberries, being totally reliant on bee pollination.
A large proportion of pollinators are flies, including more than 250 species of hoverfly. Bees make up about a quarter of the pollinating insects and in the UK alone there are approximately 250 species of bee, 24 species of bumblebee, 225 species of solitary bee and just one species of honeybee. Butterflies and moths are also pollinators as well as bugs and beetles.
In line with the council's Climate Emergency Response, steps are being taken to prioritise pollinators. Dependant on the location of a verge, pollinators are prioritised in various ways, these methods can include:
- planting pollinator friendly plants
- not mowing grass verges when wildflowers of significance are in season
- reduced weed removal in the area of pollinator sights
Less maintained verges and weeds provide the perfect environment for pollinators and wildflowers. They provide a good food source and cuckoo flower or ladies smock can encourage native butterflies to lay on them.
You can suggest locations to us online where pollinators can be prioritised. This will help to shape the sites that will be trialled and reviewed for next year's mowing schedule, where practical.
Less maintained verges and weeds provide the perfect environment for pollinators and wildflowers not only provide a good food source, but cuckoo flower or ladies smock can encourage native butterflies to lay on them.
The council’s initial Pollinator Action Plan, agreed in February 2020, aimed to trial two locations as pollinator sites. Driven by the work of the Steering Group of the Parks and Countryside Partnership and Performance Board, the action plan will see:
- mowing schedules reviewed yearly
- new plantings that are good for pollinators
- a review on the use of herbicides and pesticides
- a programme of pollinator events and activities at Wirral Parks
- promotion of ‘Bee Friendly’ information
Full list of pollinator sites
- Levers Causeway
- Church Road (Bebington)
- Mill Park Drive (Eastham)
- Sretham Close (Eastham)
- Lowfield Avenue (Eastham)
- Leasowe Road (Wallasey)
- Mereworth (Caldy)
- Oldfield Lane (Meols)
- Farhall Road (Heswall)
- Thingwall Road (Irby)
- Arrowe Park Road
- Walby Close (Woodchurch)
- Victoria Park - The sowing of yellow rattle (which parasitizes grasses so making it easier for flowering plants to flourish/ out compete grass)
- Plymyard Avenue/Eastham Rake - pilot area for seeding and plug planting
Wildflower mix is sown and dug over at a number of roundabouts around Wirral.
All of these locations will be reviewed for next year's schedule according to their suitability as a pollinator site.