I was introduced to the concept in 2017 by Nikki Gammans when I joined her Bumblebee Identification course and my main takeaway from this event was the problems created when groups of species get isolated in small pockets of land. Apart from the obvious catastrophic events, such as flooding or fire or lack of food, there are other issues arising from lack of diversity such as male sterility in Bumblebees.
As my work has evolved around the more abstract series "FlightPath", the nature corridor narrative has grown. The concertina sculptures have focused my attention on the barriers to nature as I catch glimpses of insects between the folds and struggle to find empty space to draw a wasp within the marks. It's become a metaphor in my head for the struggle in nature.
The concertinas are created by random mark making with graphite on a large sheet of paper (both sides) and then cutting into strips and folding on the square. For a large book the strips may be glued together. Then I search for appropriate places to draw wasps throughout the length, occasionally in small clusters but more often with big gaps. Some strips are concealed in handmade boxes - a further isolation.
General awareness of wildlife corridors is increasing with projects such as "B-Lines" run by Buglife and #BeeTheChange from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and I'm looking to help promote these through a project of my own.
This community project is intended to get you thinking about insects and their habitats.
MORE INFORMATION AND IDEAS
Please note that the charities mentioned below have not endorsed the FlightPath Collaboration project. The information below is taken from their websites and I hope it will inspire you to look further.
Help Buglife save the planet - B-Lines
‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.’
Sir David Attenborough
Imagine trying to travel around Britain without our road and rail network. Or imagine if nine out of every ten miles of road just didn’t exist – life would be impossible!
Well for much of our wildlife this is the reality – it is confined to tiny fragments of habitat and unable to move across the countryside as our climate and landscape rapidly changes. It has been predicted that 40-70% of species could go extinct if action is not taken to enable species to move through the landscape (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007).
We can all play our part in helping to solve this and B-Lines is showing really positive change
At home and in your community
Gardens cover over 430,000ha of the UK, which is over four and half times the total area of our National Nature Reserves! This makes them hugely important habitat stepping stones for sustaining wildlife of all kinds.
The nation’s lawns are a huge untapped resource for our pollinators – even just mowing less often will give dandelions, daisies, clover and Selfheal the chance to flower, so give the mower a rest. Bigger gardens can provide diverse habitat features for pollinators including wildflowers, bee friendly garden plants, fruit trees, hedges, spring bulbs or wildlife ponds. Even containers or hanging baskets can enhance small paved gardens.
Local community spaces can be great places to deliver for wildlife, with people working together to share their skills, experience and enthusiasm. Sowing wildflower patches in allotments, creating wildflower-rich grasslands in schools, planting fruit trees in wildlife gardens or bee friendly gardens around housing estates for example, are all great ways that people can work together to help their local pollinators and contribute to filling the B-Lines with flowers.
Buglife are working alongside many partner organisations to spread the message throughout the UK. Organisations such at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust who are promoting and supporting Be The Change:
Bee the Change is all about quick, simple ways you can make your local area more bumblebee-friendly. It doesn’t matter if you live in the city or the countryside. If you have a garden, a flower pot – or no outdoor space at all!
Bumblebees do an amazing job pollinating our crops and wildflowers. But as our towns and countryside change, there are fewer flowers to feed on, so bumblebees need a helping hand to survive.
Get started with their FREE how-to guides and resources and keep checking back to see what’s new!
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