FARMING leaders welcomed the Government's report into pollinator decline which calls for a national strategy to help increase populations. Announcing the National Pollinator Strategy this week, Environment Secretary Liz Truss said more must be done to protect Britain's diminishing bee populations and suggested a number of ways to address the problem.
These include investment in scientific research to investigate the continuing decline of pollinating insects, as well as a 'Bees Needs' website to give the public advice on protecting bees in their area.
However, environmentalists said they were disappointed the report did not emphasise the 'risks' pesticides posed to pollinators.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said the industry recognised the 'crucial contribution' pollinators made to food production and the wider environment.
He said: "It is important to remember pollinators are being challenged by a range of factors including habitat loss, pests, disease, climate change and chemicals they encounter in the environment, such as pesticides.
"The evidence shows we clearly cannot single out just one cause of pollinator decline."
The Crop Protection Association (CPA) said it was pleased the Government had taken a 'balanced attitude' to the different factors which potentially affected pollinator health.
CPA chief executive Nick von Westenholz added: "It is pleasing to see the strategy recognises pesticides are subject to one of the most stringent approvals processes in the world and are but one of a range of factors, including habitat loss, disease and climate change, which have the potential to put adverse pressure on pollinators.
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