Action for Insects campaign

Action for Insects

Our insects are in trouble

In the UK, our insect populations have suffered drastic declines, which are set to have far-reaching consequences for both wildlife and people. 

With a third of our food crops pollinated by insects, and as many as 87% of our plants pollinated by animals (and in the majority by insects) there is a lot to lose. Much of our wildlife, be it birds, bats, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals or fish, rely on insects for food. Without them, we risk the collapse of our natural world.

A report, Insect Declines and Why They Matter, published in November 2019 by an alliance of Wildlife Trusts in the south-west, brought together evidence that showed the loss of 50% or more of our insects since 1970, and the shocking reality that 41% of the Earth's remaining five million insect species are now 'threatened with extinction'.

Insect Declines and Why They Matter

We need everyone to understand the scale of the problem to feel empowered to take action and share their concerns with politicians and policymakers.

Read the report

Marmalade hoverfly © Chris Lawrence

Reversing the Decline of Insects

Insect populations can recover swiftly, with a little help and space.

 

Read the report

Wild About Gardens

What can be done?

Whilst the news for insects is bleak, there remains much that can be done to bring about their recovery, but fast action is required.

Take action at home or in your community

To showcase what is needed, The Wildlife Trusts commissioned a second report published in July 2020, Reversing the Decline of Insects, which looked at case studies around the UK that are working hard to bring back insects.

To reverse the decline of insects and allow them to thrive once more, The Wildlife Trusts want to see at least 30% of land and seas properly connected, better protected and suitably managed for nature. To achieve this, it requires us all to become insect champions, taking action at home and work, in our communities and schools.

It's also essential that there is a halt to the unnecessary use of pesticides where people live, work and farm, with support for all sectors to make the transition towards becoming pesticide-free.

Act Now to Save Insects Near You

To save our insects, we must all become insect champions. We have the perfect guides to help you take action at home, in your garden and in your community.

Download your guide

Act Now to Save Insects at Your School

Let's help insects everywhere! Our school guide will help your students to learn about insects and how to help their local environment. 

Download your school guide

Examples of action being taken

The Wildlife Trusts and our supporters are taking action for insects up and down the UK. From restoring habitat, working with land managers and councils, to reintroducing species, Wildlife Trusts are helping to restore our insect populations and calling for this work to be scaled up, so that we can see them thrive once more.

Kent Wildlife Trust

Bee Roads

Kent Wildlife Trust has partnered up with the local council and Bumblebee Conservation Trust to create a number of roadside nature reserves and 'Bee Roads' to boost local insect populations.

Find out more

Buff-tailed BumbleBee © Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

Alderney Wildlife Trust

Little Island Leaves

Alderney Wildlife Trust and Little Island Leaves have partnered up to spread the word about wildlife-friendly gardening, and provide advice on sustainable growing.

Read about it

Tom Marshall

Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Reintroducing species

Lancashire Wildlife Trust recently reintroduced the large heath butterfly to Greater Manchester after an absence of 100 years.

Find out more

Stefan Johansson

Avon Wildlife Trust

Wilder Waterways in the Gordano Valley

The Gordano Valley in Avon is a very important site in the South West for wet meadows, and a network of ditches criss-cross this landscape, providing crucial habitat for a whole range of insect species. With funding from Wessex Water, Avon Wildlife Trust is working with partners including Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Internal Drainage Board and North Somerset Council to protect and improve the Gordano Valley landscape. 

Find out more
Devon Wildlife Trust

Creating Working Wetlands

Devon Wildlife Trust has been working with farmers to reduce agricultural pollution, restore rivers, wetlands and threatened insect rich grasslands in northern Devon for twenty years and delivering Upstream Thinking for the last ten. The Trust has worked with farmers to restore and reconnect threatened habitat like Culm grassland.

Find out more

(C) Matthew Roberts

Medway Pesticide Amnesty

Between January and March 2020, the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, with the support of the National Farmers Union and a range of funders, ran a Pesticide Amnesty to collect and dispose of over 3,500 litres of out-of-date or illegal chemicals across the Medway catchment, which covers 1,857 km2 of Surrey, Kent and East Sussex.

Find out more

Credit: Paul Harris/2020VISION

Pesticide free Wadebridge

Wadebridge Town Council stopped spraying weeds in March 2016 and their Parks team and contractors no longer use any kind of pesticide. Instead, in managing their four large grassed areas, including three parks and a cemetery and the roads and pavements around town, they use a self-drive brush weeder, gas flame, strimmer and hand weeding, which they find to be as effective as chemicals.

Find out more

Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

Pesticide free Balerno

After the World Health Organisation named Glyphosate, the main ingredient of most weed killers, as a ‘probable carcinogen’, linking it to many other serious human and animal health issues, some concerned individuals in Balerno started petitioning for their street and area to become pesticide-free. As word spread, more people joined, leading to the formation of Pesticide Free Balerno in 2019.

Find out more

Nick Upton/2020VISION

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Lower Smite Farm

Worcestershire Wildlife Trusts’ Lower Smite Farm is managed to increase the diversity and abundance of wild pollinators and beneficial insects. No insecticides, slug pellets or livestock wormers are used on the farm. It acts as a demonstration site and, with support from the Defra Facilitation Fund, the Wildlife Trust works with more than 50 farms to share learning.

Find out more

Baling legume herb mix at Lower Smite Farm. Credit: Caroline Corsie

A change in mindset

An arable farmer in Lincolnshire, Peter Lundgren stopped using neonicotinoid pest controls 15 years ago and adopted management that actively encourages ‘beneficial’ insects in and around the farm’s cropped fields. 

Find out more

Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Incredible Edible Lambeth

Incredible Edible Lambeth wants to create connected communities through the power of food. This Community Interest Company, which is part of the Incredible Edible Network started in Todmorden (in Yorkshire) in 2008, champions local food growing and food businesses in South London and started a ‘pesticide-free Lambeth’ campaign 18 months ago.

Find out more

Tom Marshall

Other ways to help

A pesticide-free Balerno