Today I’m sharing some details about a local project that’s been making a real difference to the declining bee population. Buzzing Hotspots are being created all over the city, with the support of funding from the Aviva Community Fund. This is good news for the bee population and this year’s Aviva Community Fund is now open for you to submit your project, so do read on for more information on that.
Over the weekend, the Urban Buzz project had an installation just outside the Bull Ring in Birmingham to spread the news about what they do, giving away seed packets to the public while educating people on the declining bee population. The installation also marked the launch of the Aviva Community Fund 2017 showing that small things can make a huge difference to local communities.
I put my questions to Nick Packham, Vice President at Bug Life…
Tell us a little about Urban Buzz
Urban Buzz is an ambitious project to create or enhance habitat for pollinators (bees, butterflies, beetles, hoverflies) by creating 100 sites in 8 different cities across the UK totalling 800 buzzing hotspots. These can include; wildflower patches, woodland planting, wetland planting, planting trees for bees and building bee banks.
Why do we need to do this?
Because since the 1940’s the UK has lost much of its pollinator habitat, over 90% so many of our bees and butterflies are in danger of declining or even disappearing altogether. Pollinators provide 1 in every 3 mouthfuls of food we eat, from apples, to strawberries and carrots, so if we lose our pollinators, our food choices will become limited and more expensive.
What is a Buzzing Hotspot all about?
A wildflower patch, a stretch of woodland planting or formal planting, of native wildflowers or flowers known to provide a good source of pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and many others. When I say bees, there are nearly 300 species of bee in the UK many of them small solitary bees that most of the public know nothing about, so another side to the project is all about engagement and making more people aware about the importance of pollinators.
What’s the Aviva Community Funding meant to you?
A lot. It’s provided a very useful amount of funding that we have used to go that bit further with the project, providing tools, planting resources and more time to really make these wildlife enhancements and connect with more local people with regards to pollinators.
How did the installation go over the weekend, and what sort of interest did you get?
It was great, a perfect platform to get the Urban Buzz project out to a wider audience and showcase how large corporates and wildlife organisations such as Buglife can work together and support each other.
How can people get involved with the project?
Just pop to the Urban Buzz hub on our website and contact us to find out about planting events and other events such as guided walks and training.
What’s next for Urban Buzz?
4 new cities!
I enjoyed finding out more about the Buzzing Hotspots, and it got me wondering how many other projects are out there in my city in need of funding. This is where you come in, as there is now a chance to get local projects that matter to you some much needed funding and support.
The Aviva Community Fund
I can see that for local projects, a small thing can make a big difference, but funding may be a challenge, which is where the Aviva Community Fund comes in. It’s back now to support good ideas.
Aviva is offering four funding levels, from up to £1,000 to up to £25,000 and to apply for funding, just tell Aviva how your project will make a positive change in one of these categories:
• Health and wellbeing
• Skills for life
• Community support
You need votes to get your project to the finals, so go and start rallying friends, family and neighbours now!
However, Aviva knows how much work it can take for volunteers in smaller projects to pull their entries together and rally voters. Most smaller projects ask for funding up to £1,000, so to recognise all their hard work, Aviva will automatically give the first 200 projects to reach 1,000 votes in this funding level the funding they ask for. If you’re one of the lucky 200 projects, Aviva will let you know. If you’re not one of those 200 projects, you’re still in with a chance of winning your funding, just see terms and conditions to find out more.
To get involved, submit a project or vote visit Aviva Community Fund. Entries opened on 12th September, closing dates for entries on 10th October 2017.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post