Newly restored flower-rich meadows in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have been found to provide a valuable contribution to bumblebee conservation in the region.
The majority of meadow restoration projects had used seed-rich green hay from existing hay meadows, and been undertaken as part of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust projects ‘Hay Time’ and ‘Meadow Links’.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust ‘Beewalk’ methodology was used to assess the impact of meadow restoration on the abundance and diversity of bumblebees. The results demonstrated that the abundance and diversity of bumblebee species significantly increased with restoration, even within the first year post-restoration.
The use of restored meadows by foraging bumblebees was not significantly different from that of ancient meadows, and flower visitation data demonstrated that the most important forage plants for bumblebees had been transferred to the restored meadows.
Edmonson, C., St. Pierre, T., Robinson, S., Powell, I. (2017). The rapid response of foraging bumblebees Bombus spp. to hay meadow restoration in the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland, UK. Conservation Evidence, 14: 61-66.