A new article in the British Naturalists’ Association Grades Newsletter, (Number 10 – April 2018) discusses how sea walls, like those familiar from walking the Dengie coastline, create a long corridor for the dispersal of fauna, especially for pollinators such as bumblebees.
Kimberley Fargeaud and Tim Gardiner, the authors of the article (‘Keeping Our Sea Walls Buzzing‘) concentrate on carder bees, numbers of which have been declining and propose a management plan for the sea wall landscape that promotes flower diversity thereby increasing the forage resources available for the bees.
The Shrill Carder Bee (Bombus sylvarum) is one of the at-risk species identified by the Back from The Brink project dedicated to saving England’s most threatened species from extinction. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Buglife are focusing on two of the last strongholds of the bee, in Somerset and the Thames Gateway. The Essex Field Club map above indicates however that distribution of the bees in the county continues around from the Thames Gateway to the Essex archipelago, the Dengie peninsula and across the Blackwater estuary.