Pollinators

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 2018.

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Photo of Alan Mak Alan Mak Conservative, Havant 12:00 am, 29th November 2018

What steps he is taking to protect bees and other pollinators.

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Protecting pollinators is a priority for this Government and that is reflected in our 10-year national pollinator strategy for England. Our 2017 review of the strategy has highlighted positive progress and the Government recently announced £50,000 to support large-scale pollinator projects in Devon and, of course, in Hampshire, and £60,000, following petitioning from my hon. Friend Ben Bradley, to develop pollinator habitat mapping.

Photo of Alan Mak Alan Mak Conservative, Havant

Community groups and local schools play an important role in protecting our pollinators. What support can my right hon. Friend give to those groups? Will he join me in congratulating St Albans Church of England Primary School in Havant on its award-winning work in this area?

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I absolutely agree; community groups, including our Wildlife Trusts network, do an enormously valuable job in making sure that the habitats that pollinators depend on are kept in good repair. It is also the case that schools across the country are playing an increasingly important role, and next year’s Year of Green Action will give me and my hon. Friend the opportunity to congratulate those schools and those teachers, who are doing so much to remind us of our environmental responsibilities.

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons)

The Secretary of State will be aware that lots of small and medium-sized enterprises that produce honey do an awful lot of work to try to protect bees. For example, Tŷ Mêl farm in my constituency does a lot of work on ethical beekeeping and making sure we produce good Welsh honey. What more support can he give small businesses that are not only producing honey, but supporting bees?

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right and I congratulate the business in his constituency on its initiative. From the Welsh valleys to the rolling acres of Hampshire, and indeed the rich heather-strewn hills of Scotland, UK honey is a world-beater, but we must do more to protect our pollinators.