Bumble Bee Conservation Trust

Getting London’s East End buzzing

East London is home to five of the UK’s seven most threatened bumblebee species, including one of the rarest, the shrill carder bee. We’re providing £60,000 in funding to support Buzzing in the East End (BEE), an exciting project that combines bumblebee conservation with action against climate change.

Run by the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, BEE aims to create, restore and improve a minimum of 200 hectares of land across 11 east London boroughs. This greenspace, which will include green roofs and wildflower meadows, provides habitat for bees and other wildlife, encourages biodiversity and, ultimately, helps mitigate against climate change.

  • Between April and September 2022, the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust’s Bee Connected project in South Kent and East Sussex reached 1,571 people at talks, events and workshops. 

  • The charity collaborated with 39 organisations and community groups. They advised on nearly 607 hectares of land and 11 miles of Network Rail track. 

  • Buzzing in the East End aims to create, restore and improve a minimum of 200 hectares of land across 11 east London boroughs.

Creating bumble bee habitats

As part of the BEE project, diverse community groups will receive support to create tiny forests and edible nature reserves, where they’ll grow herbs, fruits and vegetables. As well as creating new bumblebee habitats and providing food, these forests help combat flooding and heat waves. Being involved in projects like this can give the local community a sense of agency and help reduce ‘eco-anxiety’ (extreme worry about current and future harm to the environment).

Volunteers will share stories of bumblebees, explaining how their fate is intertwined with ours. They’ll do this through talks, school visits, social media, free resources, displays in community centres and online tutorials. BEE will also share the data they collect and provide pollinator-friendly habitat management advice to community groups and landowners across east London.

“Buzzing in the East End (BEE) is an exciting new project for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. One of our key strategic aims is to introduce a diverse audience to bumblebees, something which we are already doing online and on the ground in areas like Walsall. However, we also want our work to have a positive impact on the communities we are engaging with, especially urban audiences who are facing extreme heat and weather events like flooding. This is the first time we are incorporating climate action and nature-based solutions to climate change into our work to save rare bumblebees. The lessons we learn will likely impact future projects that we develop, meaning that BEE is of great strategic importance to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.”

Gill Perkins, CEO, Bumblebee Conservation Trust

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