Fallin Bing, near Stirling is a haven for wildlife and people to use and enjoy, though remarkably it started life as a spoil heap for the once busy coal mine next door. Through IFLI, Buglife’s Bings for Wildlife project is enhancing the number and variety of wildflowers at this site even more, making it better for wildlife, particularly for pollinating insects such as bumblebees, butterflies and beetles. Over the last few months volunteers from The Conservation Volunteers have been helping Buglife plant over 1,300 wildflower plug plants there. A wide range of wildflowers has been planted, including early-flowering species like coltsfoot and lesser celandine, which will bring a welcome splash of bright gold to dull spring days, as well as the striking blues and purples of summer –flowering vipers bugloss and the softer yellows of common toadflax – which some people call ‘butter and eggs’!. More wildflowers are due to be planted in the future , and scrub will be removed to further improve the site for wildlife and for people. For more information about this project visit the IFLI website page.
In 2014, Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) is celebrating ladybirds. Ladybirds are actually a kind of beetle, and though there are 46 species in the UK, only 26 of them look like ladybirds! Fifteen different species are found in Scotland, of which six are common and widespread. The others are rarer and have very specific habitat requirements.
CSGNT has been taking a ladybird stand around community events with a range of information, hints, tips and activities that can help to improve gardens and publics spaces for different ladybirds. It has produced ‘Love Our Ladybird’ packs for 150 primary schools in the area, which are full of educational resources and tips on improving school grounds for ladybirds, survey guides, activity sheets and a kit to make a hibernation box. There are still 30 left, so if you are involved with a primary school, check out CSGNT’s website for details of how to get in touch.
On top of all that, it has been involved in several habitat creation projects, planting wildflower meadows and trees which are good for ladybirds, and encouraging everyone to take part in the Ladybird Survey. If you would like CSGNT to organise a ladybird survey for your site, or help in creating some ladybird habitat, see the website for details of how to get in touch.