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Reserve Appeal

Please help us to save threatened habitats and the endangered bumblebees that depend on them

Thanks to the incredible support that we continue to receive we are now in a position to consider what we might practically do ‘on the ground’ to assist some of the most threatened bumblebee species. Protecting the habitats that they depend on is of primary importance.

Our first priority is to protect Britain’s rarest bumblebee species – the Great Yellow Bumblebee (right) – in its last remaining strongholds. This bee can now only be found on the Western Isles, and at a number of scattered sites along the north coast of mainland Scotland. Unfortunately, in some areas the management of these important habitats is changing. The Great Yellow, and the similarly threatened Moss Carder bumblebee are becoming restricted to ever smaller fragments of suitable habitat. The changes not only threaten unique habitats, but also the insects, birds  and other animals that depend on them.

There are a number of approaches which we are considering, all of which may be suitable in certain situations. One option is to buy land to restore and protect, and in some circumstances this may still prove to be the best way forwards. However, this approach fails to recognise that in many cases the existing tenants and crofters have historically been superb custodians of the land. It’s precisely because of the sensitive way in which the land has been managed that these areas remain so suitable for rare bumblebees. In these cases we hope to work with local communities, and to encourage them to protect their bumblebees for future generations.

Please help us to save these bumblebees!

We are working hard to find the right site to establish our first reserve. We need to talk to land owners and local communities to find somewhere that suits everyone. Land ownership is always a tricky issue, and we’re keen to take our time and get it right. We are also going to need a lot of financial help to raise the funds necessary to buy and manage the land. It’s not going to be easy.

Any donation, no matter how small, will help us to reach our target.

However, particularly generous donors who are able to contribute £200 or more towards the total will become Reserve Founders. In recognition of their special support, their names will be listed on a plaque at the reserve entrance, and they will receive a limited edition photograph of a rare bumblebee, signed by the BBCT team.

You can check on the progress of our fundraising by returning to this page in the future, and looking at our fundraising thermometer.