A new three part Documentary on the importance of our pollinating insects started this week on BBC2.
Presented by writer, broadcaster and gardener, Sarah Raven, this documentary series travels the length of the country visiting Birmingham, Harrogate, Leicester and Northamptonshire, looking at the vital role which bees, butterflies and other insects play in our food production.
The team visits Northamptonshire LEAF Marque farmer Duncan Farrington, producer of Farrington’s MELLOW YELLOW® Rapeseed Oil, to discover how in recent years, he has replaced much of the lost hedging and is constantly looking for innovative ideas to encourage wildlife onto the farm. Duncan investigates sowing modern perennial wildflower ‘margins’ around crops on his farm to support pollinating insects, and to benefit his crop productivity.
Duncan says “I am very proud to have been involved in this exiting programme looking at how we can take simple measures to try and reverse some of the declines in our native bumblebees and other pollinating insects on our farmland. With the help and advice of organisations such as LEAF we have been carrying out a number of habitat enhancement ideas on our family farm over the last ten years or more.”
Pollinators are in crisis. It’s a complex problem that scientists the world over are trying to fathom, but the prognosis is grim – without healthy populations of insect pollinators across the world, our food security is under threat.
Backed by recent research, Sarah Raven believes that central to the problem is a lack of food and habitat, leading to the poor health and nutrition of our pollinators. A lack of a rich and varied supply of pollen and nectar throughout the year to feed our insect pollination workforce and keep them strong and healthy; is leaving them vulnerable to the effects of pesticides, pathogens and parasites.
Our pollinating insects are vital to the production of the vast majority of the fruits and vegetables we need in our healthy diets. If we don’t start to look after our pollinators, eventually our favourite foods could vanish from our supermarket shelves, from apples and pears through to coffee and chocolate. Not to mention Rapeseed oil!
As governments and scientists debate colony collapse, and species extinctions of Butterflies and Bumblebees, Sarah wants to show us that we could all make a difference right now.