The Scottish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s Pollinator Strategy.
The number of pollinating insects in Scotland has declined by 51% since 1980. The main threats to wild pollinators, which include bumblebees, hoverflies and butterflies, come from intensive agriculture, habitat loss, and the use of pesticides including neonicotinoids.
The Trust’s Senior Policy Officer Bruce Wilson said: “Pollinators are a vital part of Scotland’s landscape. Many of our native wildflowers, shrubs and trees would be unable to exist without them. Bees and hoverflies also provide the backbone for much of Scotland’s agriculture, contributing around £43m to the economy each year.
“In particular, we welcome the focus on a landscape scale approach to help species like bumblebees recover from serious decline. We have successfully demonstrated this approach through the Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network, a project that has created large areas habitat for several rare insects along Ayrshire’s coastline.
“Intensive agriculture is another key threat so we welcome further support for integrated pest management to encourage farmers to reduce the use of harmful chemicals. However, while we also support the continued precautionary approach to harmful neonicotinoid pesticides we would still like to see a total ban on these chemicals, especially given the increasing amount of scientific evidence pointing to their harmful impact on pollinators.”