A photo for - Farmers supplying the co-op are encouraging more bees into their natural habitat

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Farmers supplying Co-op are encouraging bees back into their natural habitat. It’s all part of a three-year plan to boost wildlife throughout the UK.

Mapping our farms’ sustainability

400 farmers have taken part in our self-assessment programme called Enviro-Map (the first of its kind to use self-entry technology, accredited by the Carbon Trust) a tool we developed to help improve sustainability in farming, which includes measuring amongst other things, the impact of farming practices.

Creating more sustainable farms

Together our farmers have planted over 1,000 miles of hedgerows across the country and 116 hectares of wildflower meadows, that’s enough to fill 140 full sized football pitches. They also look after over 1,400 hectares of woodland and 455 wetland areas, where you’ll find kingfishers and lapwings.

Co-op Infographic explaining the types and amounts of land we can change to encourage bees and wildlife

“The wildflowers look fantastic in the summer and they’ve certainly increased the number of butterflies on the farm. Our neighbour, who produces honey, has found an increase in production since our wildflowers have been in place so there has clearly been an increase in the number of bees in the area.”
Caroline Morris of Manor Farm, Buckinghamshire

Some of the farmers involved in this project are part of the Co-op Farming Group, focussed on growing and rearing animals to the Co-op’s high standards. All this is part of our Co-op’s support for British farmers, just like sourcing all our fresh meat from British farms too.

Adele Balmforth
Head of Fresh Food

Read more on reducing impacts at our Co-op;


Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. An excellent approach towards tackling some of our major concerns. Everyone involved will get a buzz from the results achieved.

  2. Excellent news.

    Just wondering what happens with farmers abroad? Does The Co-op help them with sustainable practices too?

  3. Excellent news! We so desperately need our insect population to flourish and grow. I have grown buddleia, lavender and sunflowers all of which not only fill the garden with a blaze of colour but also with the busyness of bees and butterfles.
    Keep up the good work!

  4. Great that some farmers are making good use of your tools. We have a small area of wild garden and plant bee and insect friendly plants in our garden. We love to see all our visitors.

  5. It’s a shame fair trade doesn’t apply to British farmers too I’d like to know how much a farmer gets for the milk we buy..

  6. Thanks, Sandra. Good to have your support! And well done too! 🙂 ^Ian

  7. Really pleased to read this report, keep up the good work
    I have sown wild flower seeds so hoping to more Bees

  8. Really pleased to read this report, keep up the good work
    I have sown of lots of wild flowers that attract the bees so hoping to more Bees

  9. Great to read this. Thank you.

    Tony Walsh

  10. I’m so pleased that the Co-op is helping boost wild flowers ,and hence bees and birds, on its land.It’s so important that hedges and strips at edges of fields allow wildlife to flourish,so well done to you and to the farmers concerned!

    • I know your comment is well-intentioned but I fear it is not correct. Yes there are narrow strips of unploughed land around fields and the rate of destruction of hedges is abating but neither the strips nor the hedges provide meaningful habitat for wildlife. If you walk in the countryside much you will see for yourself. The strips around fields are more often than not rank grass and the hedges are cut to an inch of their life by mechanical hedge cutters so they offer very limited cover for birds or small mammals and hardly an opportunity for pollinators. Well intentioned but largely ineffective I am sorry to say.


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