No Mow May:

Environment boss backs national campaign as new data reveals devastating decline in flying insects

Wildlife campaigners are calling on communities to do more to protect some of our tiniest companions after a survey reveals a devastating drop in the flying insect population.

The Bugs Matter survey, led by Kent Wildlife Trust and Buglife has reported that the abundance of flying insects in the UK has plummeted by nearly 60% in the last two decades.

Despite differing counts across the UK, the research highlighted a worrying trend in all of our nations, also resonating with wider research carried out across the globe.

England suffered the biggest decrease with 65%, while Wales recorded 55% fewer insects, and Scotland calculated a 28% drop. Northern Ireland didn’t gather enough statistical evidence to analyse, but did note a significant decline from the results they had.

Insects play a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, from pollinating crops around the world, providing a natural pest control, helping to decompose organic matter, and recycle nutrients into the soil.

Dr Emma Gardner, Head of Environment for the Laudato Si’ Centre and the Diocese of Salford, is eager to raise awareness of this worrying trend and to encourage people to do more to help protect our insects.

She said: “Here at the Laudato Si’ Centre, we’re saddened to learn the results of the Bugs Matter survey.

“Insects and pollinators are the lifeblood of our ecosystem, and such a sharp decline is likely to have a devastating effect on our wider ecological and agricultural landscape.

“Through our work at the Laudato Si’ Centre, we are committed to adopting best practice to protect, enable, and encourage insects and pollinators to thrive, and we are working hard to pass this knowledge on to future generations and community groups through our work with schools and through events such as our Gardening for Wildlife course.

“We are also delighted to see so many people embracing this year’s No Mow May campaign from Plantlife, which is a fantastic way to raise awareness and help support our local wildlife.”

The No Mow May campaign challenges individuals, communities, and organisations to let their lawns grow wild throughout the month of May, enabling more and a greater variety of flowers to bloom, which in turn gives pollinators more time and more opportunity to gather nectar, helping to give our entire ecosystem a much-needed boost.

To find out more about how you can give our insects a helping hand through No Mow May, head to https://nomowmay.plantlife.org.uk/