bee grass

The South Yare Wildlife Group started the ball rolling towards the establishment of a B-Line, or pollinator corridor, along the Chet Valley by organising the Buglife talk at the Poringland Community Centre in March 2019. Paul Hetherington of Buglife dealt with the problems pollinators are facing and the role B-Lines can play in their conservation.

The baton was then passed to the Berghapton Conservation Trust which has a keystone nature reserve about mid-way along the Chet. It formed a steering group that applied for and obtained funding from Water Mills and Marshes, Broads Authority’s Landscape Partnership Scheme, the same scheme that funded SYWG’s Wildpatch project.

The B-Line Steering Group has recently produced its first newsletter as a way of keeping people informed during the Coronavirus lockdown. I think you will agree that in the short time of less than a year that the Chet Valley B-Line has been in planning, quite a lot has been achieved.

The newsletter has some useful links to guide and inform us on what we can do in these strange times to help wildlife in our localities. One of them is SYWG’s Wildpatch link, if you live in the Chet catchment (see map in the newsletter) a Wildpatch can be a part of the B-Line. The Buglife website has a page where patches can be plotted (just follow the directions to the East of England and locate where you live). For reference the Chet starts in Poringland and flows to the Yare, so many of the parishes in our SYWG bailiwick are in the Chet catchment. It will be really good to have lots of wildpatches shown along the B-Line.

SYWG has also helped the B-Line by giving grants for community projects at four sites in the Chedgrave and Loddon area. Some funds are still available for community projects to support the Chet Valley B-Line.

We are also following closely the progress of the Agriculture Bill (which had its 3rd reading on Wednesday and now goes to The Lords), which is a potentially massive move to make farming and agriculture more environmentally sustainable. The positive impacts that environmentally-conscious farmers can do for nature and wildlife far exceeds what we can do with our small gardens, please see the Nature Friendly Farming website for more information on the movement.

Finally, we are supporting Plant Life’s No Mow May campaign to encourage people to grow their grass and let their garden get a little wild during lockdown. It is a great initiative and aligns closely with the advice and information shared on our Wild Patch website.

Words by Rodney Aldis