Making a Buzz thanks to the National Lottery

We are delighted to announce we have been awarded £965,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to launch our Making a Buzz for the Coast project, which has been in its development stage. Thanks to National Lottery players who raised the money, we have been awarded a total of £1,077,900 (including development phase funding)! The project aims to secure the future of Kent’s bumblebees and other pollinating insects spanning 135 miles of Kent’s coastline from Dartford to Deal, starting in October 2017 until September 2020.

Making a Buzz for the Coast is an ambitious natural heritage project, which has been developed in partnership with several organisations, including Kent Wildlife Trust, Natural England, the RSPB and Kent County Council. Focusing on Kent’s wild pollinator populations, especially bumblebees and solitary bees, the aim of the Trust is to mobilise people in Kent to take action to protect these important pollinators.

The project’s three overarching themes, providing habitat, understanding populations and engaging communities and seven interlinked work strands will provide an enormous number of engagement, training and volunteering opportunities for the local community, and 400 hectares of bee-friendly habitat will be created, restored or improved for pollinators to help protect and link isolated populations. Kent has more bumblebee species than anywhere else in the UK and this coastline is a hotspot for rare bumblebees, including the Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum), which is one of the UK’s most threatened bumblebee species.

Making a Buzz for the Coast is fundamental to raising awareness about the importance of pollinators for Kent’s ecosystems, crops and local economy, as well as the special and rare species found along the Kent coast. Improvements to public greenspaces will make them more attractive to pollinators, whilst providing more opportunities for local people to enjoy and learn about wildlife.

BBCT Conservation Manager, Sam Page, said “Our vision is to inspire the people of Kent to take action for bumblebees and other wild pollinators. The Kent coast is a hotspot for some of the UK’s rarest and most threatened bumblebee species – but insect pollinators are also crucial to Kent’s local economy and fruit industry. Through this exciting landscape-scale partnership project, we aim to safeguard Kent’s bumblebee populations into the future.

Stuart McLeod, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East said: “We are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, this project can now get off the ground to secure the future of some of the UK’s most rare bee populations. This pivotal project is sure to create a buzz amongst Kent’s communities with all the exciting opportunities on offer and we hope it will mobilise people to get involved and help to protect the natural environments on their doorstep.

We would like to extend our thanks to the John Ellerman Foundation, Dulverton Trust, Clark Bradbury Charitable Trust, Schroder Charity Trust, Thames Water, Kent County Council, RG Hills Charitable Trust and Chapman Charitable Trust for their contributions. In addition, we would also like to extend a huge thank you to our members, following their donations to last year’s summer appeal, which means this exciting project is now fully funded!

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