Rural Northern Ireland’s very first pollination program was launched to protect the health of its bees and pollinators.
The £ 700,000 scheme will provide grants between £ 3,000 and £ 12,000 to rural community groups and schools to create or improve a rural community pollinator garden.
Read more: New surge of pollinators in Northern Ireland
Environment Minister Edwin Poots said: “Pollinators are essential to our food production and economy – crops and fruits depend on them to reproduce and grow. One in three mouthfuls of food we eat is pollinated by insects.
“Unfortunately, pollinators are in decline and we need to take urgent action. This is why I am announcing the very first rural community pollination program to help improve the health of the pollinator population.
“This program is part of Northern Ireland’s centenary celebrations and will create a lasting legacy for rural communities while creating much needed habitat. It will also open up spaces for rural communities to enjoy and share together. ”
Ian Humphreys, Managing Director of the environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, which will distribute pollinator funding on behalf of DAERA, said: “Improving the situation for our pollinators is crucial. DAERA’s recognition of the vital role pollinators play in our economy and agriculture is welcomed in the scale of the rural-focused pollinator subsidies launched today.
Read more: NI in an unacceptable position – Edwin Poots
“Planting trees and wild flowers for pollinating species also enhances the beauty of our local communities, which is vital for mental health and well-being. We are delighted to be here today at an amazing eco-school and we encourage rural schools, community groups and environmental organizations to contact our grant officers without delay if they need help applying. .