Wildflowers by woodland edge

Devon County Council takes big step to protect Britain’s bees

Devon Council has committed to prohibit the use of bee-harming pesticides on its land, where it can.
  Published:  23 Mar 2018    |      1 minute read

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that pesticides called neonicotinoids are a threat to all bee species.

So it's great news that Devon Council has committed to prohibit the use of these bee-harming pesticides on its land, as part of its new Devon pollinator action plan.

Nearly 4,000 Devon residents sign petition to ban neonics

Two big, fluffy bees handed in a joint petition from Friends of the Earth, Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon Women’s Institutes and Buglife before decision day.

Leader of the Council John Hart accepted the petition personally on the steps of County Hall in Exeter ahead of the Cabinet meeting, proudly holding a placard stating “Ban bee-harming pesticides”

What does this mean for Devon’s bees?

The ban will be part of a wider set of bee-friendly measures being drafted by council officials which is expected to include advice on cutting road verges, managing hedgerows, and further planning guidance.

The move was kicked off by a motion tabled earlier this year by Councillor Gordon Hook.

Mike Birkin, Friends of the Earth South West campaigner said:

“It’s great that Devon County Council has committed to preventing bee-harming pesticides from being used on council-owned land.

There is growing evidence of the threat neonicotinoids pose to bees – Devon is showing we must do more to protect these threatened pollinators that work so hard in our parks, gardens and countryside.”

Devon County Council has yet to publish details of which areas it manages, including country parks and nature reserves, will be affected by the ban on neonicotinoids.

Help local pollinators