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Construction urged to do more for butterflies and bees

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published new guidance on how best to fit pollinators into urban design and construction with a series of easy steps to suit all project budgets and sizes.

Pollinators including bees, wasps, moths, butterflies and flies are vital for biodiversity, but their populations face challenges due to changes in land use, habitat loss, diseases, pesticides and climate change.

Wildflower meadows, flowering trees, hedgerows, nectar-rich plants and herbs, window boxes, green roofs, living walls and sustainable drainage systems can all help expand the habitats of pollinators, said SNH.

It pointed out that, as well as helping nature, the simple steps create more attractive environments for living, working and travelling, while also supporting local authorities in meeting biodiversity priorities and contributing to developers’ corporate social responsibility. Improving pollinator habitats can also help save money – for example the cost savings from reducing the mowing of parks and road verges.

SNH chief executive Francesca Osowska said: “Improving our urban greenspace will provide vital habitat and can also help us adapt to and mitigate climate change.

“High-quality developments that protect and enhance our nature are good not just for businesses but importantly for people too, with attractive greenspace in urban areas known to boost our health and wellbeing.

“I’d encourage everyone in the sector to take a look at this guide and consider how they could do more to plan for pollinators and help create a nature-rich future for everyone in Scotland.”