Cork has officially signed up for the new five-year All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. Photo: Dmitry Grigoriev

Could the county bee any happier?

There was a buzz of excitement recently when Cork County Council officially signed up for the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP).

One-third of Ireland’s wild bee species are now threatened with extinction due to a drastic reduction of food and safe nesting sites brought about by human activity.

The five-year pollinator plan will provide a framework to bring together pollinator initiatives from around the country with an aim to help pollinators such as bees, butterflies and other struggling species to thrive once again.

Launched in March by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, the AIPP 2021-2025 follows on from the first AIPP which ran from 2015-2020.

Cork County Council has already been busy establishing seven Town Pollinator Plans in recent years, with five more currently in development.

Welcoming the news, Chair of the Environmental, Climate Action and Biodiversity SPC at Cork County Council, Cllr Anthony Barry (Fine Gael) acknowledged the work already done by the council for pollinators.

“As the largest county in Ireland, we need to do what we can to reverse the decline in pollinators,” he said.

Independent Cllr Marcia D’Alton, who is also a member of the Environmental, Climate Action and Biodiversity SPC, said the proposal had originally been put forward in 2019 where it received huge support.

“This proposal is going to bring a great deal of joy to a great many people. It's a fantastic advance that we are cementing our support for the welfare pollinators here today. By doing this we are actively voicing our support for society which utterly depends on pollinators.” she said.

Cllr D’Alton added that Cork County Council had already done so much work in helping pollinators, that many of the public thought Cork had already formally joined the AIPP.

The AIPP 2021-2025 has 186 actions spread across six objectives and was developed by a 16 member steering group who provide expert oversight.

The plan, which is entirely voluntary, does not have a project budget and is instead funded directly by the organisations who have committed to taking action.

Its six objectives are to make farmland pollinator friendly, make public land pollinator friendly, make private land pollinator friendly, implement the All-Ireland Honeybee Strateg, conserve rare pollinators and ensure the strategic coordination of the plan.