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All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015 to 2020

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, to help address pollinator decline and protect pollination services, has been initiated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and developed by a steering group, which included the Ulster Farmers Union and Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The annual value of pollinators for human food crops has been estimated at €153 billion world-wide. The free service they provide is worth over £7 million per annum for apples in Northern Ireland and €3.9 million for oilseed rape in the Republic of Ireland. Other pollinator-dependant crops in Ireland include apples, strawberries, raspberries, currents, tomatoes, peas and courgettes.

The loss of natural and semi-natural habitats has been a key driver in pollinator declines. The Plan aims to take steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels. The plan recognises that Councils, working locally in partnership, can play a leading role in providing habitat where pollinators can survive and thrive.
The plan has five objectives:
  1. Making Ireland Pollinator friendly (farmland, public land and private land)
  2. Raising awareness of pollinators and how to protect them
  3. Managing pollinators – supporting beekeepers and growers
  4. Expanding our knowledge on pollinators and pollination services
  5. Collecting evidence to track change and measure success
The public land targets for 2015 -2020 are as follows:
  1. Increase the area of land that is managed in a pollinator friendly way.
  2. Create linking areas of flower-rich habitat along transport routes.
  3. Reduce the use of pesticides (pesticides, insecticides and fungicides).
The full plan can be viewed at http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/projects/irish-pollinator-initiative/all-ireland-pollinator-plan/
Antrim and Newtownabbey Council: actions to help pollinators, November 2017 update.

Council Action to help pollinators


ANBC progress


Protect what we have



Manage and restore semi-natural habitats and their native plants

  • Steeple Play Area species-rich grassland site, Grow Wild/Bee-licious site
  • Hannon’s Field, Antrim (yellow rattle sown in 2016)
  • Hazelbank Park, orchard maintenance and woodland understory bulb planting (Bee-licious)





Identify and protect existing sources of food and shelter for pollinators on general council land


  • Six Mile Water park – tree planting area – no cutting
  • Bruslee willow planting
  • Sentry Hill – hedgerow restoration and wildflower bank
  • Allotments



Alter the frequency of mowing



Identify at least 10 locations that are mown under a pollinator friendly regime (5 cut & lifts per year)


  1. Valley Park (annual cut and lift)





Aim to create at least 5 meadows (one cut & lift per year)


  1. Hannon’s Field, Antrim
  2. Steeple Play Area (Grow Wild and Bee-licious site)
  3. Antrim Forum
  4. Crumlin Recreation Centre
  5. Cranfield grassland area – tbc’ed
  6. Three Mile Water Park
  7. Hazelbank Park
  8. Valley Park





Identify at least 10 flagship verges that are managed to be pollinator friendly (one cut & lift per year)


  1. Stiles Way




Introduce a layered mowing approach to other roadside verges









Pollinator friendly planting



Plant a native perennial wildflower meadow

  • Antrim Forum Bee-licious site
  • Native wildflower planting – Mallusk Cemetery, Kilbride Cemetry.
  • Valley Park





Plant a native hedgerow


  • Kilbride cemetery
  • Ballyeaston Village





Replace grass with a  dense clover sward






For future ornamental tree planting select from pollinator friendly species


  • Mallusk community hub




For new works ensure 75% of ornamental planting is pollinator friendly






In future ornamental maintenance planting try to select from the pollinator friendly planting code






Make some urban planters pollinator friendly






Make some urban roundabouts pollinator friendly










Provide nesting habitats



Manage hedgerows for pollinators

  1. Canal Walk, Toome – hedge laying, to be continued, if possible.
  2. Mill Race Trail, Antrim – hedge restoration, DfC site
  3. Steeple Play Area hedge restoration – future community project
  4. Bruslee
  5. Mossley Park
  6. Sentry Hill
  7. Carnmoney Hill – future






Bare earth/sand banks for wild pollinator nesting


  1. Crumlin Recreation Centre




Holes in wood or concrete for wild pollinator nesting






Install a bee hotel


  • Crumlin Recreation Centre - BREEAM


Reduce use of pesticides



Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides & fungicides)


  • 14 Green Flag sites have a commitment to only spray when no other option is available. 




Adopt the pollinator friendly pesticide code




Raise awareness



Build actions on pollinators into existing frameworks and initiatives

Part of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP)





Fund pollinator projects on council land to demonstrate best practise to other sectors (reference sites)


Bee-licious – HLF funded projects

  1. Antrim Forum
  2. Crumlin Recreation Centre
  3. Holywell Hospital – in partnership with Northern Health Trust
  4. Wallace Park
  5. Monkstown Voluntary Initiative (local community partnership project)
  6. Hazelbank Park
  7. Whiteabbey Hospital - in partnership with Northern Health Trust
  8. Monkstown Wood – Woodland Trust site
  9. Valley Park
  10. Duneane Community Garden, Toome





Put up signage to identify pollinator friendly habitats on council land


  • 8 x Bee-licious site signage
  • Distribute All-Ireland Pollinator Plan signage in 2018, where pollinator action has taken place.




Promote & distribute pollinator friendly guidelines to other sectors locally


  • Bee-licious Pollinator ID sheet
  • Bee-licious leaflet
  • Bee-licious native wildflower seed packs
  • All-Ireland Pollinator Plan guidelines have been distributed where possible, e.g. gardens, allotments, schools, Ulster in Bloom Towns and Villages groups, etc.





Promote & distribute the Junior Pollinator Plan to local schools


  • Antrim Forum site/linked with 2 schools
  • Crumlin Recreation Centre – linked with 4 schools and the Polli:Nation project
  • Ballycraigy Primary – Grow Wild site
  • Templepatrick Primary School





Facilitate or deliver training on pollinators and how to take action to protect them


  • Native Wildflower Meadow creation – Parks staff training, November 2016, delivered by Eco-seeds.
  • Pollinator Plan training delivered to the Towns and Villages group in October 2017.





Fund a special pollinator award in the Best Kept or Ulster in Bloom competition






Promote and get involved in other pollinator related initiatives.


‘Bee-licious’ is a pollinator project supported by the National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund, ‘Our Heritage Programme’. A partnership of eight Councils across Northern Ireland, who are concerned by the decline of our pollinating insects, including bumblebees, solitary bees, honeybees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and beetles.

Council will work with local communities to restore native flower-rich habitats where pollinators can find food and shelter.



Track progress



Log your ‘Actions for pollinators’ on the mapping system to ensure your efforts are recognised






Take part in the Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme to help track changes in wild pollinator numbers on council land


  • Steeple Play Area – Bumblebee monitored site
  • Bee-licious sites to be monitored
  • Hannon’s Field to be monitored for pollinators