Road verge with bumblebee on red flower

Cornwall Council votes to protect its bees

Cornwall Council bans bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides and approves Pollinator action plan.
  Published:  22 Nov 2016    |      1 minute read

Thanks to over 2,500 bee-friendly Cornwall residents who signed a petition, Cornwall has banned neonicotinoids on its land. This is part of a Pollinator action plan – a package of measures to protect native bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and other insects.

It’s great news that councillors really listened to the public who are concerned about acting now to reverse bee decline.

Just before the meeting we went to the council to hand in the petition. How could they possibly ignore thousands of names being handed in by giant bees?

Cornwall council receiving petition to ban bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides
Cornwall Council Chairman Ann Kerridge (left) and Councillor Edwina Hannaford receiving the petition
Credit: iStock

Cornwall Council cabinet member for planning Edwina Hannaford championed the motion to protect Cornwall's bees. Edwina explains:

Bees are vital to our ecosystem and we must do all we can to halt their decline and to protect them and their habitats. My concerns are obviously shared by many others judging by the petition from Friends of the Earth that I accepted earlier today

The motion was supported by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership and Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership. And with the Cornish Pirates rugby team behind the campaign, we were unstoppable.

Cornish Pirates rugby team say no to neonicotinoids
Cornwall Pirates rugby team and bees unite
Credit: iStock

The new Pollinators Action Plan is amazing news for bees. It’s part of a welcome package of measures including better road verges for bees and more wildflowers on council land. The ban applies to council-owned land such as parks, gardens and verges. Farms on council-owned land will be encouraged to reduce their use of neonics.

Cornwall now joins Devon and Dorset, who have introduced similar plans this year. The South West is now leading the way and taking a huge step to make sure bees and other precious pollinators are protected.

Find out more about the role of local authorities in helping bees in Helping Pollinators Locally, a free guide by Friends of the Earth and Buglife.

Friends of the Earth would like to thank everyone who signed the petition to protect bees in Cornwall. This proves that your actions really do make a difference.

Now we need to make sure that bees are safe everywhere in the UK. Please sign our petition asking for a permanent ban on bee-harming pesticides across the UK.