Buglife is the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates. They’re actively working to save Britain’s rarest little animals; everything from bees to beetles, worms to woodlice and jumping spiders to jellyfish.
As Sir David Attenborough once said, “If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.”
Invertebrates are essential to life on Earth; nothing can survive without them. They hold a vital place in almost every food chain around the globe, and their role as pollinators is vital to flowers and other plants. However, in the U.K. insects are facing unprecedented loss, with key species declining by between 65%-70% in recent decades and one in ten facing extinction.
Buglife has a wealth of practical conservation experience, predominantly within the UK. With so many species to choose from, Buglife has to prioritise work areas, meaning that the current focus is predominantly on pollinators and freshwater habitats.
However, as the only custodian of so many invertebrates, action is also taken to save species at risk of U.K. extinction and sites of major importance that are under threat. Much of this work is leading by example, developing best possible practices to nurture species, and then sharing with others to ensure the greatest impact for invertebrates.
Many of these best practice projects have subsequently been adopted by national and local governments, thus gaining in status and effect. For instance, their flagship B-Lines pollinator connectivity project has been funded by all U.K. governments and is seen as integral to local pollinator strategies.
Buglife’s B-Lines project aims to restore at least 150,000 hectares of flower-rich habitat across the U.K. so as to provide vital safe havens and travel corridors for insects. England has lost 97% of its flower-rich grasslands, which are vital to the survival of invertebrates. Buglife has mapped areas rich in insect biodiversity across the whole of the U.K. and the B-Lines are a network of ‘insect pathways’ that will weave across the landscape to connect them, providing a vital lifeline for invertebrates who are increasingly isolated in small pockets of land.
Creating the B-Lines means restoring flower-rich habitats along them, and whilst Buglife does vital work reseeding the country’s landscapes, achieving the target of 150,000 hectares will take time and needs farmers, landowners, wildlife organisations, businesses, local authorities, and the general public to work together to create flower-rich grassland in the best locations.
You can check if you live on a B-Line here with Buglife’s interactive map. If you’re lucky enough to live on one, sow some seeds and help save the small things that run the planet!