Some recent case studies on helping pollinators from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council

Since the publication of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan in 2015, local authorities across the island have offered support and adopted pollinator-friendly policies. In addition to training parks staff on actions, reducing mowing, and switching to pollinator-friendly planting, staff in many councils have also come up with innovative and creative ways to help the Pollinator Plan gain momentum. 

In early 2019, a framework to allow Councils to become formal partners to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan was launched. In becoming an All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Partner, Local Authorities agree to support the ethos of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan; to consider the Plan in their policies, plans, and management decisions where possible; to carry out one pollinator-friendly action in the first year of signing up and plan to carry out at least three more within the following five years. Local authority partners will also provide updates on the pollinator actions they have planned, implemented or maintained at the end of each year. To date, 24 partner local authorities have become a network for sharing knowledge and ideas. 

With current environmental challenges, including Climate Change and Habitat Loss, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan offers local authorities a toolkit to protect the free ecosystem services provided by pollinating insects, while at the same time helping all types of biodiversity.

Here, Council partner Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council gives an overview of just five of its 2020 projects:


1.   Six Mile Water Park, Wildflower walk

  • An amenity grassland area, that was planted with a line of standard trees
  • A Wild Flower meadow strip was sown along the edge of the tree lined path
  • The Wild flower strip is cut and lifted each year
  • Provides food and shelter for pollinators
  • Receives positive feedback from park users



2.  Six Mile Water Park, traditional orchard creation

  • Traditional orchard created on an amenity grassland area
  • 5 different fruit tree species, 25 trees in total
  • Native hedgerow planted around the orchard
  • Provides food and shelter for pollinators


3. Hannon’s Field, Lough Shore Park, Antrim. Wildflower meadow restoration

  • An amenity grassland area beside the Six Mile Water river
  • Yellow rattle seed was sown in 2016
  • The meadow is cut and the grass is removed each year
  • We were delighted to see Orchids appear in 2017
  • Provides food and shelter for pollinators
  • Positive feedback from park users, who enjoy walking through the mown paths in the meadow



4. Hazelbank Park, Traditional Orchard restoration

  • Restoration of an existing traditional orchard
  • Existing trees pruned and new fruit trees planted
  • Paths are mown through the grass for people to walk through the orchard
  • Provides food and shelter for pollinators



5. Steeple Play Area. Wildflower meadow restoration

  • An amenity grassland area
  • Yellow rattle seeds were scattered by local school pupils
  • Wildflower plug plants were planted by the local community and schools
  • Provides food and shelter for pollinators
  • Part of Grow Wild and Bee-licious projects



By Ruth Wilson, Biodiversity Officer, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council