Making a difference where you live

Helping wildlife is second nature

The scale of the crisis facing our insect life couldn’t be more stark. Studies have shown a 76% decline in flying insects, including the pollinators that play such a vital role in the world’s food production.

In response, the Co-operative Alliance launched a pollinator strategy, pesticide reduction policy, a climate change and sustainability strategy and biodiversity strategy.

Professor Dave Goulson, the world renowned Professor of Biology at Sussex University specialising in bumblebees, welcomed the steps being taken.

The pollinator strategy puts the focus on nature-based solutions and rewilding opportunities, increasing biodiversity on council land, enabling community-led and nature-based projects and maximising opportunities for gains in biodiversity on all new developments.

Lewes District Wildflowers
Stephen Gauntlett

Councillor Stephen Gauntlett, Cabinet Member for Planning, said:

“Our drive to become climate resilient has to be all encompassing, from action on the ground to putting council policies in place that shape all ongoing work.

“Thanks to new planning policies we’ve introduced, sustainability and biodiversity are now central considerations for every major development in the district.”

There are parcels of council owned land all over Lewes district that are a kaleidoscope of wildflower colour, where pollinator friendly plants and habitats have been created and bees, butterflies and other insects are benefiting.

We are also continuing to review the scheduling of grass mowing in the district to find areas suitable for regeneration, where grass is left to grow to allow wildflowers to develop and wildlife to move in.

We have reduced mowing in a number of areas, including the Peacehaven and Telscombe cliff top, where new wildflowers are already developing. This is great news for bees and other pollinators who need this food source, especially early in the year when other sources of food are scarce.

Chris Collier

Councillor Chris Collier, Cabinet Member for People and Performance, said:

“The changes we have made to the way we manage areas that in the past have been regularly cut and mown during the summer months are paying real dividends for local biodiversity.

“It’s very exciting to see wildflowers emerging in Peacehaven and Telscombe thanks directly to this new approach.”