A boost for bees, bugs and butterflies

© Chris Lawrence

Surrey Wildlife Trust launches appeal to fund new project for pollinators on the North Downs

Surrey Wildlife Trust has launched a new fundraising appeal to support its Bees, Bugs and Butterflies programme along a stretch of the North Downs in Surrey between Guildford and Reigate.  Working in partnership with communities, schools, volunteers and other landowners, the Trust is aiming to restore the iconic chalk grassland and community greenspaces within the North Downs that are so vital for pollinators.

Despite its beautiful landscapes, Surrey has some of the fastest declining wildlife populations in England with one third of its species now either extinct or in danger. In addition, since 1945 the UK has lost more than 80 per cent of its chalk grassland, which is why it is so important to preserve this important habitat in Surrey.

Andrew Jamieson, Project Development Manager at Surrey Wildlife Trust, said:

Chalk grassland habitat, like the North Downs, supports so many species it is sometimes called Europe’s tropical rainforest. So we are taking decisive action to reconnect and revitalise this stretch of countryside so bees, bugs and butterflies can breed and prosper. Our aim is also to work with local communities so that gardens, open spaces and school grounds support more wildflowers and pollinators.

Every £1 donated to the appeal could unlock £10 in match-funding! 

For example, £50 donation could generate £500, which could help equip a volunteer group with tools for removing invasive scrub, run a bee themed school grounds project or recruit and train a group of volunteers to survey pollinating insects.

Make a donation

donate to our Bees, Bugs & Butterflies appeal

Since 1900, the UK has lost 13 of the 270 species of bees in the UK.  There is only one honey bee species, but the UK has 24 bumble bees, most of which have been recorded in Surrey – although these have declined steeply in the past 25 years and some species are now locally extinct. There are also 224 species of solitary bees which come in many colours, shapes and sizes.

Surrey also has around 40 resident or regular migrant species of butterfly and many important longer distance pollinators – particularly of wildflowers.  In recent years Britain’s smallest butterfly, the Small Blue, has been restricted to isolated patches of chalk grassland in Surrey where Kidney Vetch, the sole food plant for its caterpillar, is found. Some fantastic work has been carried out to support this butterfly across the North Downs but more funding is needed for this and other butterflies.

Any kind of creepy-crawly might be referred to as a “bug” and there are around 40,000 species of invertebrate or “bug” in the UK. True bugs are members of the Hemiptera order of insects, which have mouth parts modified for piercing and sucking.  They include shield bugs, leafhoppers and aphids.

All of these species need our help here in Surrey.