Five new wildflower trails – designed to benefit Scotland’s vital pollinators – have opened at Scottish Natural Heritage nature reserves.
The pollinator trails have been created on national nature reserves across Scotland, from Flanders Moss in Stirlingshire, Forvie National Nature Reserve in Aberdeenshire, St Cyrus in Angus, and Creag Meagaidh in the Highlands to Taynish in Argyll and Bute.
The trails are short walks and easily accessible. There are information signs along the paths for visitors, telling them more about pollinators and wildflowers, and giving tips on how to help pollinators.
David Pickett, SNH’s Forvie reserve manager, said: ‘The trail at Forvie gives visitors a wonderful welcome to the reserve. The whole visitor centre is surrounded by wildflowers. We planted about 20 species of meadow flowers, as well as creating deadwood piles, planting fish boxes with wildflowers, and creating a living wall on part of the visitor centre. It’s really quite spectacular!
‘It’s wonderful to walk among the flowers and see all the insects that are benefiting from the trail. There’s lots of fascinating information about the important work pollinators do as well.’
Stuart MacQuarrie, SNH’s National Nature Reserve Manager, added: ‘These trails are not only beautiful for visitors to our national nature reserves, but they’re wonderful for pollinators like bees, butterflies and ladybirds.
‘There’s so much work going on to bolster pollinator populations by so many individuals and organisations in Scotland. We’re thrilled that these trails build on these many efforts to help our pollinators.’
The five new trails add to an existing trail opened last year on the SNH grounds at Battleby, near Perth. The trail has a stunning wildflower meadow, thriving bee hotel and a living wall.
Scotland’s pollinators are a vital part of biodiversity. They play a crucial role in food and farming, as well as contributing to people’s enjoyment of the countryside, health and well-being. But wild pollinators are under threat: they face pressures from habitat degradation, changes in land use, disease, pesticides and climate change.
The pollinator trails are part of the work of the Pollinator Strategy for Scotland. For more information, see http://bit.ly/2LuAvHi