Pollinator Friendly Symington

WATCH how a village in Ayrshire is working to become a haven for pollinators.

Nestled on the Ayrshire coast, Symington is a small village to the south of Glasgow. The village is home to just over 1500 people and is bordered by agricultural land.

During lockdown, a group of residents noticed that local road verges weren’t getting cut as regularly. As a result, wildflowers were growing. Not only did these wildflowers have a visual impact, but they also provided a vital food source to pollinators like bees and butterflies.

It was from these road verges that the idea of a pollinator friendly village grew. Within a few years, Symington has become known as a conservation village, working hard to support pollinators.

With over 95% of the UK’s wildflower meadows being lost since the 1940s, habitats and food sources for pollinators are becoming increasingly important. It’s estimated that around 84% of Europe’s crops depend on pollinators but without food and shelter, pollinators are unable to fulfill this vital role. Pollinator populations are also becoming more isolated as their available food and shelter becomes more fragmented.

After noticing the benefits of reducing cutting of road verges, several Symington residents began conversations with local authorities. After lengthy discussions, the community decided to take on the management of several verges themselves. In 2020, the group got in touch with the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Nectar Network. The Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network has worked with businesses, golf clubs and communities to reconnect wildflower rich sites on the Ayrshire Coast.

Since then, Pollinator Friendly Symington has worked with the local community and connected a number of gardeners who were already working to help pollinators. The group has led a range of events including moth trapping, bat walks and tree planting. They continue to manage local road verges for pollinators and are supporting the community to make their own pollinator friendly spaces.

Visit the Symington Community Council website to find out more.

We’d like to thank Dave Houfe and all the wonderful Pollinator Friendly Symington volunteers for their involvement with the filming. We’d also like to thank Brian Vass at Vass Media for capturing the Symington story.

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