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Urban Buzz reaches Bristol

Buglife’s exciting and ambitious project launched in Bristol in September. Over the next 20 months, 100 ‘buzzing hotspots’ will be created across the city. With the help of local partners and community groups, pollinators across the city will benefit from additional forage and nesting habitats.

The project will provide resources for a variety of pollinators including bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles and more. Whether it's installing a bee hotel, planting a tree, brightening up a road verge or sowing a large native meadow, no project is too big or small.

Urban Buzz is keen to create or enhance habitats across the city, so if you have any ideas of publicly accessible land that could benefit from a ‘buzzing’ treatment please contact Hayley Herridge, Urban Buzz Project Officer.

My Wild University is launched!

The University of Bristol has joined Avon Wildlife Trust’s 'My Wild City' project and will promote nature across its 200 acres of gardens and open spaces and 400 acres of farmland. The University aims to 'show how high-level educational institutions can be a part of the vision to create a nature-rich city for the benefits of its students, staff and our wildlife.

My Wild University was launched by the creation of a bright, colourful annual meadow outside of Royal Fort House. This buzzing habitat provided pollinators with much needed food resources over the summer.

This exciting collaboration with the Avon Wildlife Trust also includes projects undertaken by the Roots Community Garden student-led volunteer group, who promote positive mental health and wellbeing by encouraging students to connect with nature and their local community.

All photos: © University of Bristol

Bee and Pollinator Festival

The University of Bristol’s Botanic Gardens hosted their annual Pollination Festival in September. Over 1500 visitors attended this hugely popular event that celebrates insects, bats and birds.

There were a series of talks featuring a wide variety of topics including echolocating pollinators and the antibacterial properties of honey. Researchers from the University of Bristol displayed their work investigating pollinator behaviour. Also at the event there was a live hive where visitors had the opportunity to see the inner workings of a honeybee colony and there were also a number of nurseries selling bee-friendly plants. Children could participate in a bee trail and try their hand at willow weaving.

The Bee and Pollination Festival is held annually, so if you missed this year’s event be sure to drop by next year.

All Photos Courtesy of Фото.ART & All Rights Reserved Copyright © Фото.ART

Join us Facebook Group

The Get Bristol Buzzing Facebook group is a place where interested individuals can find links to research, ask pollinator related questions, receive news about upcoming events, and share any exciting stories and photos of pollinators.

If you would like to join the group please search ‘Get Bristol Buzzing Conservation Group’ in Facebook, or follow the link.

MARCH 2017

Progress Report on Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy

A progress report for the Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy was published on 7th March 2017. This report documents progress against the strategy's actions and contains information on activities, events and projects that took place during the first two years of the Strategy (2015 and 2016). The report document is available to view and download here.

This is the first progress report of the Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy which runs until 2020 and was launched in 2015, Bristol's year as European Green Capital. The report highlights activities involving Strategy Steering Group members, listing all known activities in appendices.

If you were involved in a project that created habitat for pollinators or promoted pollinator conservation that has not been included in the report, please consider adding this to the My Wild City Interactive Map. This will help the Steering Group to continue monitoring efforts taken to aid pollinators and may be featured in future publications by the Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy Steering Group.

Get Bristol Buzzing Partnership

A huge variety of insects pollinate wild plants and food crops but they and their habitats are under threat. Get Bristol Buzzing is uniting projects across Greater Bristol to help make the city a better place for pollinating insects, such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

Seven partner organisations have developed a Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy that will unite individuals and organisations to achieve shared aims and actions for pollinators. We are now inviting you to sign up to support the Strategy and asking you to tell us what you are doing to help pollinating insects – whether it’s a small patch of wild flowers in your garden or a community wild flower meadow, every little helps! All activities will be displayed on the My Wild City map and you will be able to obtain Get Bristol Buzzing branding for your project to show that you are supporting the Strategy.

To find out what you can do visit Get Bristol Buzzing to see our five top tips for helping pollinators and to download useful resources, including advice on how to sow a flower meadow and plants that are good to grow in allotments.

And if you have received some of our Get Bristol Buzzing seeds this year, do let us know the results – tell us what you've done so we can add your site to our map. You can also tweet a photo with #getbristolbuzzing to show how you are helping pollinators!

Pollinator News


1. Updated Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy

The Steering Group members of the Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy met earlier this year to review the Strategy’s Aims and Actions. The updated Strategy runs until 2020 and includes four aims:
1. Identify and protect existing habitat for pollinators;
2. Increase the amount of pollinator habitat;
3. Raise awareness of pollinators to the public, businesses and private landowners;
4. Provide best practice guidelines in line with the latest research.

The Strategy includes revised actions for 2016-2020. The updated Strategy will be launched later in November and will be available to view on the Get Bristol Buzzing website.
Organisations can sign up to support the Strategy using this form.
Individuals can sign up to support the Strategy using this form.

2. Improving habitats for both pollinators and residents

Bristol City Council are continuously working towards the Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy by creating and managing existing habitats for pollinators. In 2016 the council either created, improved or continued to manage over 12,000 square metres (more than 3 acres) of pollinator friendly habitats all across Bristol!
These green spaces are both incredibly beneficial in helping our declining pollinators, and also contribute to improving the mental and physical health and wellbeing of Bristol residents.
Please visit Bristol City Council's website to find local open spaces or parks in your area. Photographs were taken by Teija Ahjokoski of Bristol City Council. M32, Bedmister Downs and City centre- Broadmead, Lewinsmead wall.


3. Get Bristol Buzzing Facebook Group

A ‘Get Bristol Buzzing’ group has been created on Facebook. Here interested individuals can find links to interesting research or articles, ask pollinator related questions, or share any interesting stories or photographs with other people also interested in preserving pollinators.
If you would like to join the group please click the link or search for the ‘Get Bristol Buzzing Conservation Group’ in Facebook and share your pollinator love!

4. Victoria Park Mini Meadows

Five wildflower beds were created in Victoria Park in 2015. This project was led by Alex Morss, a Bristol based Ecologist and Editor, and supported by the Victoria Park Action Group and Wildlife Group, Good Gym, Woodcraft Folk club, children at Victoria Park Primary school and St Mary Redcliffe Primary school and Mrs Brown’s café. Bristol City Council and Avon Wildlife Trust provided assistance, seeds and tools.

This is an ongoing project that has encountered a few bumps along the way (such as the accidental mowing of half the beds), and some interesting quirks, some annual species flowered on Christmas Day 2015! With the support from the local community groups, these wildflower beds will continue to bloom for years to come, providing a much needed nectar and pollen source.
Depending on what time of year you visit you may be treated to a sea of yellows, whites and pinks, and hopefully plenty of buzzing! Details on how to visit Victoria Park can be found on the Bristol City Council website.

If your community group is interested in creating a similar project, then you can refer to the ‘Grow your own pollinator-friendly meadow’ for ideas and advice. Photographs © Alex Morss,

5. Ongoing Pollinator Research in Bristol

The University of Bristol are co-ordinating a series of experiments investigating lawn mixes for pollinators. This ongoing project aims to recommend low-growing native plant species that can be planted in lawns to provide food for pollinators.
If you are interested in visiting science in action there is a demonstration plot at the University of Bristol Botanic Gardens, or you can view an experimental plot at Bristol Zoo’s Wild Place Project

6. Pollinator award for My Wild Cathedral

The Bee’s Needs awards, hosted by Kew Gardens, are a celebration of initiatives taken to aid pollinators across the country. Held in the winter, these highlight the need for food and nest sites year round.

Earlier this year, the Avon Wildlife Trust created beautiful pollinator habitat in the middle of the city, outside the Cathedral on College Green. The My Wild Cathedral initiative scooped a Bees’ Needs award. This is a wonderful achievement, highlighting the hard work of organisations across the Greater Bristol area, and also helps our pollinators! 

Updates on pollinator activities…

JULY 2016

1. Bees Needs Week

Bees Needs Week (9 - 17 July) aims to raise awareness of pollinator needs and encourage everyone to take action to support pollinators.

Follow #BeesNeeds on twitter to find out more about the campaign and tweet your pollinator questions to charities, businesses and bee experts.

Click here to find out more about #BeesNeeds 

2. RHS & University of Bristol Survey

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the University of Bristol are asking gardeners to take part in a new study to identify the most commonly planted pollinator-friendly plants and assess how good UK gardens are for pollinators. The UK's 27 million gardeners, from window sill and urban gardeners to more traditional horticulturists, are being asked to complete an online survey that will help the charity better understand how widely gardeners plant for pollinators.

For more info about the survey click here

To complete the survey click here

3. Urban Pollinators films on You Tube

The Urban Pollinators Project team has produced a series of short films about our research and how you can help pollinators in urban areas.

The seven films cover a range of topics including our research findings to date as well as top tips for allotment holders, practitioners and policymakers on helping pollinators in urban areas. Enjoy!





1. Sign up to support the Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy

The Get Bristol Buzzing initiative is underpinned by the Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy launched in 2015. This local pollinator strategy for the Greater Bristol urban area, based on Defra’s National Pollinator Strategy, unites organisations and individuals in working towards shared aims and actions to help pollinating insects across the city.

We would like to invite organisations and individuals to sign up to support the Strategy and tell us how you are helping pollinating insects – whether it’s a small patch of wild flowers in your garden or a community wild flower meadow, every little helps! Please tell us about what you have been doing in 2015 so we have a record of all of the wonderful things that have been happening in Bristol’s Green Capital year. We would also like to hear about what you are planning for 2016 so that we can feed this information into the Strategy Implementation Plan for 2016.

All activities will be displayed on the My Wild City interactive map and you will be able to obtain Get Bristol Buzzing branding for your project to show that you are supporting the Strategy.

Organisations can sign up to support the Strategy using this form.
Individuals can sign up to support the Strategy using this form.

2. “Bees Needs” resources available

Defra has created a “Bees’ Needs” website with the Wildlife Trust to support the National Pollinator Strategy for England. The website contains lots of useful resources on creating and managing pollinator habitat including case studies and information sheets to inspire local authorities, gardeners and other landowners.

3. “Urban Buzz” coming to Bristol

Buglife recently launched ‘Urban Buzz’ a new national project that will transform urban sites to help pollinators in eight towns and cities in England and Wales over three years. We’re excited to announce that Bristol has been selected as one of the eight ‘Buzzing Cities’ and the Buglife team will be working in Bristol from 2017. Watch out for updates in future newsletters on how you can get involved with this fantastic new project and visit the project website to find out more information.

4. Date for your diary: National Meadows Day on 2nd July 2016

The first National Meadows Day took place in 2015 as part of the Save Our Magnificent Meadows campaign. The next National Meadows Day will take place on 2nd July 2016. To find out about events taking place near you please visit the Magnificent Meadows website. If you’d like to link an event you are planning to National Meadows Day, or for more information about National Meadows Day or Save Our Magnificent Meadows please contact Fiona Perez at Plantlife at

5. West of England B-Lines update

The West of England B-Lines project is transforming habitat for pollinators across the West of England, including in urban Bristol. The first 18 months of the project has proven to be a great success! Between April 2014 and September 2015 the project has restored and created over 110 hectares of wildflower-rich habitat, providing important areas for our pollinating insects to forage, nest, shelter and over-winter. Avon Wildlife Trusts Grassland Restoration Team volunteers have put in an amazing 533 days of their time, undertaking a wide range of conservation tasks including scrub management, grassland cutting, seed collecting and sowing. Buglife and Avon Wildlife Trust would like to thank project funders, partners, supporters, landowners, communities and all those who have engaged in the project so far. Thanks to further funding from Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust the project is able to continue delivering habitat improvements on the ground to benefit wildlife and communities.

For further information about the West of England B-Lines project please see here

6. St George in Bloom selected as national finalist

St George in Bloom was the first community group to take up the Get Bristol Buzzing challenge and incorporate planting for pollinators into their planting schemes in 2015. Not only did they win a Gold Pennant award and also trophy for Best Urban Community entry in 2015, St. George in Bloom has been selected by the Royal Horticultural Society to be a national finalist to represent the St George area of Bristol and the entire South West region as an urban entry in the RHS national competition in 2016. Many congratulations to all involved and to find out more about St George in Bloom please visit the website.


Tell us your pollinator news!

Do you have any news about activities you have been involved in in 2015 or upcoming events in 2016 to add to the next Get Bristol Buzzing newsletter? If so please send a short paragraph (max 200 words) and a photograph if possible to before 10th January 2016.



1. Green Treasure Hunt highlights pollinating insects

On 1st August a 'Green Treasure Hunt' around Bishopston, Cotham and Redland was launched as part of the Bristol Green Capital Neighbourhood Arts Programme. The trail takes you on a journey of discovery through treasured green spaces and independent shopping delights, woven through the quiet backstreets of the neighbourhoods. It is linked together via five 'street pockets' designed to inspire participants on green issues and 10 hidden art works en-route. The Nature-themed street pocket is a Mazda X5 sports car adorned with pollinator-friendly flowers to highlight the importance of pollinating insects for everyday life.

Do visit the Nature street pocket on the corner of Cotham Hill and Hampton Park and go to to find a map of the whole route. A huge thank you to Cleeve Nursery for the beautiful pollinator-friendly flowers and planting assistance.

2. Mini-meadows brighten up Bristol streets

Bristol City Council have been growing up mini-meadows in planters and have recently distributed these around the city to brighten up the city streets including Queens Road and the Bear Pit – keep an eye out and let us know if you find any!

3. Getting St George Buzzing

Residents in Kensington Road, St George, Bristol have been busy enhancing the street and have planted pollinator friendly plants. These have been located around the 14 street trees, and all the residents have also set up colourful window boxes, hanging baskets and containers in their small front gardens. Kathryn Lwin, Founder and Director of River of Flowers, visited the street earlier this year to give advice, and she also produced a street planting plan. The residents were given a generous sponsorship donation from Natracare Ltd, and this enabled them to purchase the plants and complete the project. Grenville Johnson Chair of the residents group and Chair of St. George in Bloom commented ‘There has been a significant increase in the numbers of pollinating insects that are visiting the street. The street is really buzzing! ’St George in Bloom have been the first community group to take up the Get Bristol Buzzing challenge. For more information visit their website at:

4. Bristol selected for Defra research on pollinators

On 4th August Bristol residents gathered at Bristol East Allotments Association headquarters in St George for a pollinator-themed creativity workshop. This was held as part of a Defra research project that is exploring the social and cultural values of pollinators. The process used meditative walks through the allotments, discussion, visual art and the creation of short movement texts to help explore in depth the many ways that we can value and appreciate pollinators. The stunning setting at this allotment site together with spectacular views over the city of Bristol proved to be a stimulating and inspiring venue for all the attendees, and this was a successful and enjoyable day.

5. West of England B-Lines in Bristol

Buglife and Avon Wildlife Trust are working with project partner Bristol City Council to restore wildflower-rich habitats on two of their sites within the West of England B-Lines network in the Hengrove area of the Bristol - Hawkfield Meadow and Hengrove Mounds. Earlier this year contractors installed a gate and cleared an existing pathway to allow machinery access to Hawkfield Meadow. This grassland will now be cut on an annual basis which will help to improve the diversity of the sword.

Later this month AWTs Grassland Restoration Team and My Wild City volunteers will be meeting at nearby Hengrove Mounds to cut areas of the grassland which have become quite rank, with a dense thatch of vegetation forming underneath. Using traditional management methods such as scything we will cut the grassland and remove the cut material to a compost area. Again this is intended to improve the floral diversity of the grassland for the benefit of pollinating insects, other wildlife and those who visit the site.

For further information about the West of England B-Lines project please see and


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