We are working with Buglife to activate the West Norfolk B-line

GroundWork Gallery’s next exhibition is about insects. Called ‘Bugs, beauty and danger’, it features 8 international artists who celebrate the power of insects at a time of increasing threats to many common species. Thirty per cent have already gone. Only last week we got news that the bumble bee, which cannot live in hot climates, is travelling further north and is in danger of ultimate extinction, with the effects of climate change.

Buglife is the national conservation charity for invertebrates – all bugs, basically. On 10th February their director of fundraising and marketing, Paul Hetherington, and their projects manager, Jamie Robins came to discuss how King’s Lynn and surrounding areas can become more bug friendly, in fact, how we can all work together to improve the life for bugs and for ourselves as a result. 

For there are 7000 pollinator species, all currently in danger. They include moths, butterflies, bees. There are 280 species of bees. These include solitary bees, who are better at pollinating plants than honey bees, and they don’t sting. Without these species working to pollinate our plants, we can hardly grow food, plants would wither and die. And we would not be too healthy either.

For pollinating insects to thrive, they need flowering plants.  So, Buglife are plotting what they have called B-Lines. These are 3 kilometre wide corridors of land as a network running vertically and horizontally over the whole country. They are aiming for at least 2 per county and having plotted where they are best placed, they are now working their way around to activate them. to make sure that these B-Lines are planted up with pollinator-friendly plants.Until now, Buglife have been working around the country, through their very successful ‘Urban-Buzz’ projects in Bristol, Leeds, Ipswich, and many in Scotland, working with local councils and communities to improve the life for bugs and make a healthier environment for communities. 

Today’s meeting was with Claire Thompsett and her colleague Paul, who are responsible for managing all the open spaces in the Borough. Councillor Liz Nockolds, the portfolio holder for open space as well as for Culture attended, and the meeting was hosted by Veronica Sekules, Director of GroundWork Gallery. The aim was to activate the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk B-Line.  Says Paul: ‘I am very keen to make this a first for Norfolk. We haven’t worked here yet and it could be a really significant step in linking up with the B-Line network. We will put in a lot of time in training and helping the council and everyone who lives in this beautiful part of the world to make it a place that bugs love – and that can only be a good thing for all of us and for the environment’.

The idea will be to make this into a great community project, involving all the gardeners, allotment-holders, conservation groups, schools and any entomologists and bug and plant-friendly people to join in, to help make this happen. It will be announced by Paul Hetherington when he officially opens the exhibition ‘Bugs, beauty and danger’ on March 13th. There will follow a fundraising campaign to be run by Buglife.  

There will be plenty of opportunities to join in with the B-Line programme but firstly we need some keen early-adopters to volunteer and start the training. On April 5th, there will be an exhibition tour and study day at GroundWork Gallery for people who wish to volunteer to help the project. There will be a small charge of £5.00, but free for under 18s.

Details follow here:

Sunday 5 April, 2-5. 

No Insectstinction Study Day: understanding and practical action 

Held at GroundWork Gallery together with Buglife 

How can we recognise the most endangered species of bugs?
What can anyone do to protect insects and avoid their extinction?
What is the role of art in understanding our relationships with insects?
What are the B-Lines, where are they around the Fens and North Norfolk Coast and how can we extend them?
What are pollinator-fit counts and how do we conduct them? 

Tickets £5.00. Free for under 18s. Bookings via mail@groundworkgallery .com