In 2019, York Green Party Councillors called for “a comprehensive Pollinator Action Plan to include consideration of the management of appropriate verges, parks and other open spaces for wildflowers and biodiversity” in York. The intention was that the strategy would provide pollinator-friendly habitats and create a more beautiful atmosphere within our City for local residents, visitors, and wildlife to enjoy.
The Council’s Pollinator Strategy was presented to the Council at an Executive meeting on Thursday 18th March. It includes measures such as the phasing out the use of neonicotinoids by the end of 2021; a commitment to measure the abundance of pollinator-friendly habitat on Council land; and encourages ward-level action in partnership with B-Lines and other local wildlife organisations.
Speaking at the Council meeting, local Green Party Campaigner Robert Gordon said:
“Within the strategy, there are a lot of positives to be celebrated. But, without pollinators, our ecosystems that sustain life will break down further. It is, therefore, very disappointing that the Strategy doesn’t commit resources to the necessary city-wide projects that will ensure that we not only achieve a sustainable future, but a liveable one. Relying instead on disjointed, ward-level action fails on our commitment to protect pollinators and ensure a healthy environment for future generations”
Speaking on the allocation of £80,000 from the Capital Budget for the provision of allotments in Rufforth, Robert said:
“I would like to welcome the allocation of £80,000 for the provision of allotments in Rufforth. In light of the pollinator strategy, I think this provides the perfect opportunity for the Council to work with local residents to emphasise the dangers of pesticides and insecticides and promote more planet-friendly practices in local growing, perhaps implementing it as York’s first ‘all organic’ allotment; banning the use of practices that harm our pollinators.”