DORSET County Council is leading the way when it comes to protecting the nation’s bees.

Friends of the Earth and Buglife have revealed that the council is one of the few to reduce grass-cutting and introduce a comprehensive pollinator action plan to boost the local bee population.

With the aim of aiding the nation’s bees, the two environmental organisations are on a mission to get other councils to do the same.

By introducing a new strategy for managing highway verges in 2014, with less cutting and more wildlife-friendly techniques, Dorset county council has also cut back on costs. 

Peter Moore, Environment Service Director at Dorset County Council, said: “We estimate this has saved us £100,000 over the last two years, with a further £50,000 in savings anticipated in 2017-18.”

For this reason, Buglife and Friends of the Earth believe the measures they are promoting will benefit councils and residents, as well as local bee populations.

Dr Paul Evans, Lead Pollinator Advisor at Buglife, said: “Effectively cutting grass less in the right places will not only help to counter pollinator decline it will benefit wildlife and people too. 

“The message is a win, win, win, for councils save money, help nature and enrich people’s lives.”

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth’s chief executive, said: “Local councils have a vital part to play in helping the UK’s under-threat bee populations.

“Policies, such as allowing grass to grow on roadside verges and in certain areas in parks, will help bees, save cash-strapped councils money and are supported by the public too.”

To coincide with the Friends of the Earth and Women’s Institute Bee Summit, YouGov have released a survey showing that 63% of Britons think councils should be doing more to protect the nation’s bees. 

Added to this, 92% support local authorities in planting more wildflowers and bee friendly plants in local parks and community spaces. 

At the Bee Summit, which Peter Moore spoke at, Buglife and Friends of the Earth launched a council guide which advises councils on the measures they can take to help pollinators.

Among other policies, it suggests local authorities encourage schools, businesses and local communities to help develop flower-rich environments which native pollinators require.

Marylyn Haines Evans, Public Affairs Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, said: “It is vital that we all play our part to support our precious honeybees, and we hope the guide will prompt more local authorities to work together with their local community to help pollinators thrive.”