Environmentalists buzzing over £250k funding for bee corridor in Hackney

Bees will be able to fly from Hackney Downs to Mabley Green and back. Photograph: Kate Poland

An environmental charity is “thrilled” after being awarded close to £250,000 to create a four-kilometre corridor for pollinators in Hackney.

ecoACTIVE, which uses a hands-on approach to teach people about sustainability and conservation, successfully applied for National Lottery cash for its Hackney Buzzline project.

The idea is to plant a green passageway, with the help of local residents, for bees and other wildlife to travel along.

Pollinators have lost huge swathes of their habitats in the UK, with almost all wildflower meadows having been destroyed, and many species are at risk.

Buzzline will form a link between four parks – Hackney Downs, Millfields, Clapton, and Mabley Green.

ecoACTIVE’s director, Jessica Dolan, said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will support the local Hackney community to become active citizens, taking pride in their natural heritage, whilst improving their wellbeing and connecting with others.”

The charity has already seen success with initiatives such as the E5 postcode gardener project, which it says have led to significant increases in insect diversity and community engagement.

It is hoped that Buzzline will help make further inroads by enhancing biodiversity, strengthening community pride, and providing educational opportunities in wildlife gardening and species identification.

The project is now funded for three years, starting this month.

ecoACTIVE plans to use that time to collaborate with partners including the council, Friends of the Earth, and Butterfly Conservation in putting on activities, workshops, and gardening sessions.

It is set to recruit and train volunteers to assist with the project.

If you are interested in lending a hand, head here.

For more information on ecoACTIVE and its work, visit ecoactive.org.uk.