How can Local Communities help Pollinators?

Communities_CoverLocal communities can lead the way in creating an Ireland where pollinators can thrive. To find out how to make your community pollinator friendly, download our publication: Local Communities: actions to help pollinators

Suitable for:
  TIDYTOWNS, Keep Northern Ireland beautiful, local wildlife groups, historic graveyard groups, college campuses, etc.

Features of our Local Community Guidelines: 
  • Range of 24 low/no-cost pollinator-friendly actions provided to suit all local communities
  • Pollinator-friendly planting lists
  • Important advice for purchasing wildflower seed mixes for pollinators
  • Information about our pollinators, why they are declining and what they need to survive
2016-05-07 14.58.38Allium_Peter CuthbertVolunteers at Moneypenny's Lock_Heather CrawfordPollinator friendly annual planting_Peter Cuthbert

Have you taken any pollinator friendly actions in your local community? If so, log them on our online mapping system, Actions for Pollinators, to help track the build-up of food and shelter in our landscape. 

Instructions on how to use this mapping system: Tutorial on Actions for Pollinators: Community groups


How Councils can support the Pollinator Plan

Councils can play a leading role in making the island of Ireland a place where pollinators can survive and thrive. To help, we’ve produced these guidelines: Councils: actions to help pollinators


We understand that each Council is different, so there are a range of 30 pollinator-friendly actions to choose from. There are instructions for each action, suggestions for where it might be applied, what staff could assist, and a pollinator-friendly planting code.

Suitable for:   ROI: County and City Council staff.   NI: Borough, District and City Councils.


The Local Authority TidyTowns Pollinator Award

In 2016, when the Local Authority Heritage Officer and Biodiversity Officer Network offered to establish and fund the special Pollinator Award in the national Tidy Towns competition, the team behind the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan were delighted to support this new way to create awareness of pollinators and increase pollinator-friendly habitats right across the country.

There has been an amazing reaction to this special award and reading about all the achievements and actions taken for pollinators in towns and villages across the country is truly inspirational.

A total of 140 towns and villages have entered the Pollinator Award competition since 2016, comprising wonderful projects, each improving and creating much-needed habitats for biodiversity and pollinating insects.

Since then, the entries have improved year on year. We would like to thank you sincerely for all you are doing locally to help create a more pollinator-friendly Ireland, and wish you every success in 2019!

– the Pollinator Plan team

To learn more about some of the wonderful work being carried out by TidyTowns groups around the country, please see our newsletter from the 2018 competition:  TidyTowns Local Authority Pollinator Award 2018 newsletter

To learn about entries and winners in the past three years of the award, please click on the appropriate tab to the left of this page: 2016, 2017, 2018.

Download our top 10 tips on how to improve your entry for the Pollinator award: Tips on entering Tidy Towns Pollinator Award

Local Authority Pollinator Award Prize Fund: €9000

Overall Winner €1000

Regional Winner Small Town/Village: 4 winners receive €1000 each.

Regional Winner Large Town/Urban centre: 4 winners receive €1000 each.






France Becomes The First Country To Ban All Five Pesticides Linked To Bee Deaths


In May 2018 the EU banned three of the significant pesticides implicated in the collapse of bee populations. Clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam are now prohibited for use on crops.

However France has gone a step further and set the high bar in the effort to save the bees. Given the importance of pollinators to nature and the survival of the biosphere, this could not happen too soon!

Studies have reported that the neonicotinoid pesticides attack the central nervous system of insects, leading to loss of memory and homing skills, in addition to reduced fertility. Bees that cannot find their way back to the hive quickly die. However the pesticides have also been shown to affect butterflies, birds and other pollinating insects.

There is a reason why France is ahead of the field in this regard: The “bee killing” pesticides were tested first on French fields in the 1990’s – and the French farmers witnessed first-hand the catastrophic effects that occurred in 1994; describing “a carpet of dead bees”. 400,000 bee colonies died within days – yet the story was buried under a layer of corruption and distorted science.

Since that time, activists and manufacturers have battled to control the situation. We covered this story in full in a previous post: Overwhelming Evidence Linking Neonicotinoid Insecticides To Massive Die-off Of Bees And Songbirds

The new move is certain to be celebrated by ecologists and sets an example of protection of nature that the rest of the world needs to follow.




1. To do this month: Let Dandelions flower

Dandelions are a vital food source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects when they emerge from hibernation. Let them flower if you can. This is the Grey Mining bee collecting pollen.

2. To spot this month: keep an eye out for the Tawny Mining bee 

Extinct for 87 years in Ireland – before it reappeared in 2012 in counties Wicklow and Kilkenny. On 28th March 2019 it was spotted for the first time in Dublin City! Can you help find new populations?

3. Councils are formalising their support

A new 2019 Framework allows Local Authorities to become AIPP partners. In doing so they agree to support the Plan ethos and take dedicated actions. So far these Councils have followed Kilkenny’s lead (photo) and signed up: Dublin City; Dún Laoghaoire Rathdown; Fingal; Limerick; Lisburn & Castlereagh.

4. Tidy Towns 2019 pollinator award

2018 newsletter released showing the amazing actions by Tidy Towns groups for pollinators. Clonmel won the award last year – who will take the title in 2019?

5. Number of business supporters reaches 115

AIPP business supporters agree to take one pollinator-friendly action in the first year and another two by 2020. We are only 5 away from doubling our original target of 60 business supporters by 2020! Photo shows a native meadow at O’Donnell Furniture Makers.