Have you got a B-Line near you? Introducing Buglife and B-Lines

Have you got a B-Line near you? Introducing Buglife and B-Lines - Russell and Atwell

March 2024 update...

In-between packing-up for Easter, Giles, our co-founder met up with Paul from Buglife on the outskirts of Coventry to hand-over our first cheque to Buglife (for over £600 pounds - a lot for our little business). This money will enable the planting of over 1200 square metres of wildflowers in B-Lines across the UK.

A HUGE thank you to you - our customers for enabling this to happen.

We chose the location in Coventry, near to Chocolate HQ in Birmingham as a great open space, but equally an area where there aren't many small plants for pollinators to feed-off.

Paul explained that pollinators are responsible for 1 in 3 mouthfuls of food that we eat in the UK and that the humble 'midge' is a critical pollinator for cocoa plants! 

Timing was limited, between packing-up Easter Eggs, but we managed to plant a few square metres of wild flowers, specifically Hyssop, wild Thyme, Clary Sage and wild Marjoram, leaving about 40 cm between each plant as an ideal distance and also ensuring they are randomly applied to replicate nature.

We're looking forward to meeting-up again later this year to do some more planting together, but don't forget that you can help too - planting in your garden, on your balcony or window-box 

Honey Blows our minds - the original blog

 

We’ve talked a lot though August 2023 about one of our favourite ingredients – honey - from visiting the fascinating Wainwright hives with David Wainwright to Steve creating a micro-batch of 100 ‘Honey & Walnut’ pouches (sold-out in hours!)

 

Honey imagery

 

We’re buzzing to tell you some news (sorry)

 

So, it seems very fitting to share some further ‘bee-related’ news. Sustainability for Steve and I isn’t about huge gestures as per an earlier blog, but more about making small, positive choices everyday. In this respect, we’ve been looking for a while for a way to not just celebrate delicious local British ingredients, but to also help nourish and sustain the natural world that provides them.

 

Bee hives near a field

 

So…we’re delighted to announce our partnership with Buglife and their initiative ‘B-Lines’ (or even Bee-Lines).


Bug Life Bee Lines

 

So What are B-Lines?

 

Imagine trying to travel around the UK without our road and rail network. Or imagine if nine out of every ten miles of road just didn’t exist – life would be impossible. That is the situation faced by our vital pollinators. And that is also where B-Lines come in.

 

Bee very close

 

Our bees and butterflies have suffered, over the last century, due to changes in land use as a result of modern farming methods, urban spread and new transport links.

 

Industrial picture

 

Over 97% (an area the size of Wales) of all flower-rich grasslands have been lost in England since the 1930s, (mirrored in other parts of the UK), reducing pollen and nectar sources and leading to a serious decline in the wildlife depending on wildflower-rich habitat.

 

meadow with urban background

 

B-Lines are an innovative solution to the problem of the loss of flowers and pollinators. They are a series of ‘insect pathways’ running through our countryside and towns, along which Buglife are restoring and creating a series of wildflower-rich habitat stepping stones. They link existing wildlife areas together, creating a network, like a railway, that will weave across the UK landscape. This will provide large areas of brand new habitat benefiting bees and butterflies and a host of other wildlife. Click here for a video explaining more.

 

In fact there may be a B-Line near you – you can click on the map above to go to the website, then zoom in on the map to find your closest B-Line.

B Lines map of UK

 

 So, what are R&A doing to help?

Very simply, for every pouch you buy, we will work with Buglife to plant wild flowers – in fact we will plant the equivalent of almost twice the pack’s footprint worth of meadow.

 

So, to take our no1 selling pack ‘The Golden Monty’ with three pouches – for every 9 we sell, we will be planting 1m² of meadow.

9 monty packs = 1m2 of meadowWhat else can you do to help Bees?

There’s tons of helpful advice on the B-Lines website, for instance on what you can do to help Buglife in your garden, and specifically what to plant to help bumblebees and help with local initiatives and B-Lines in your area.

 

If you’re really keen, you can even become a member of Buglife from only £3 per month.

 

And finally

 

This is just the beginning; we’ll be working with Buglife to understand the positive impact our business is making to B-Lines and also finding ways to further help and publicise this great cause to sustain our beautiful countryside and wildlife.

 

Of course, we’ll also be making lots of yummy fresh chocolates, lookout for new flavours coming this Autumn…

Honey 

 

 

 

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