Pollinators make a B-Line through Midlothian

Published: 13 April 2021

B-Lines are a series of 'insect pathways' running through our countryside and towns - and Midlothian Science Zone is now on the map, recognised for its wildflower-rich habitats of benefit to bees, butterflies and other wildlife.

The importance of pollinators is well documented, they include a variety of flying insects - bumblebees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, thrips and bees - all vital for the creation and maintenance of habitats to sustain ecosystems and enable the reproduction in 90%1 of the world’s flowering plants.

‘B-Lines’ have been mapped across the whole UK and are defined as Pollinator Pathways, areas of any pollinator management which allows for wildlife to travel unimpeded around the countryside – rather like an insect highway. It is predicted that 40% to 70%2 of species could go extinct if action is not taken to support and allow this movement.

Buglife Map Msz

Midlothian Science Zone plotted on the B-Line Map - view map

Buglife is the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, managing the mapping of B-Lines across the UK and setting guidelines on how to support Pollinator Pathways, from planting to relaxed mowing plans to which everyone needs to contribute from farmers to gardeners, businesses to local authorities.

Midlothian Science Zone (MSZ) is proud of its rural location, green space, One Health expertise and biodiversity and  pollinator activity in the zone has been added to the B-Line map to emphasis the support in Scotland and we hope that this will further raise awareness in communities within Midlothian and encourage engagement.

Great care is taken by University of Edinburgh Easter Bush Campus and science park landscape teams within MSZ through environmental landscape management and biodiversity plans, including differential mowing, wildflower and poppy meadow planting and maintenance, bug hotels, bird boxes and hedgehog houses.

The University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus are recognised as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus and hold a Silver Award, working towards Gold. We are also fortunate in the zone to have an active Apiary on Campus and established Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre activities and events (when restrictions allow) including “Meet the Bees” sessions.

Insects and insect related businesses are thriving in MSZ and this includes award-winning entrepreneurial start-up Beta Bugs Ltd who are currently growing their team as well as developing the best breeding programme of the Black Soldier Fly and Agri-EPI Centre who have designed efficient insect breeding programmes. Both these businesses seek to benefit the agricultural supply chain and to improve sustainable, regionally produced protein production for livestock.

Beebytes, is a new social enterprise company, located in Roslin Innovation Centre, established by scientists from the Roslin Institute with expertise in honeybee genetics and DNA analysis to help beekeepers address the global decline in pollinators. 

MSZ is feeling positive about ongoing pollinator activities and plans - they are essential for biodiversity and our environment, beautiful to look at, fun to engage with and of benefit to our wellbeing.

If you are interested in planning or being involved in a pollinator project, want to be included on the B-Line within Midlothian or would like to be kept informed of pollinator activities in Midlothian, please contact Emma McCallum, MSZ Project Coordinator. 

 

Source Notes: 

1. Promote Pollinators

2. Buglife

 

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Midlothian Science Zone

  • Roslin Innovation Centre
  • The University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus
  • Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland

Project Co-ordinator: Emma McCallum

T: +44 (0)131 651 9000

Email us

Easter Bush Campus

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Midlothian, EH25 9RG

Campus Operating Officer: Val White

T: +44 (0)131 651 9180

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Roslin Innovation Centre

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Easter Bush Campus
  • Midlothian EH25 9RG

Chief Executive Officer: John Mackenzie

T: +44 (0)131 651 9000

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