Kent’s Plan Bee pollinator action plan

Butterfly on a purple flower

Kent's Plan Bee is a pollinator action plan which has been developed by the council to take the lead and encourage local communities to improve the food sources and general habitat for pollinators in Kent. Pollinators such as bees, wasps, butterflies, moths and hoverflies are vital for our food, economy and environment and we must act to reverse their rapid decline.

The purpose of the plan is to:

  • make the council a community leader in action for pollinators
  • ensure that pollinators’ needs are always considered throughout our work and services
  • put the conservation of pollinators and their habitats at the heart of our land management and planning
  • make the council a significant contributor to the recovery of pollinator populations.

For a more information, you can download and read the Kent's Plan Bee pollinator action plan (PDF, 3.5 MB).

We also hope that the plan will help mobilise the people of Kent to do their bit for pollinators. Read about what you can do to help pollinators.

Action so far

We have made changes and implemented policies to improve and protect habitats for pollinators.

No Mow May Pledge results for 2022 to 2023

No Mow May is the campaign from Plantlife to encourage you to stop mowing your grass to allow naturally occurring wildflowers to bloom that may normally be mown before they can flower.

In 2022 and 2023, we conducted surveys of residents and organisations in Kent to find out:

  • who was taking part in No Mow May
  • where in Kent they were from
  • their reason for taking part.

The results from the No Mow May surveys are incredibly positive and show how engaged and supportive of the campaign Kent’s residents and organisations are. This includes:

  • 340 responses to the survey in 2022 and 272 responses in 2023.
  • 129,865 square metres of land pledged to No Mow May in 2022, which roughly equates to 497 tennis courts
  • 131,510 square metres of land pledged to No Mow May in 2023, which roughly equates to 503 tennis courts (despite the fewer number of pledges, the area of land pledged increased in 2023).

We have compiled the results to compare the 2 years and lessons learnt from conducting the surveys.

Many sites across KCC-owned land took part in No Mow May, including:

  • offices
  • care centres
  • household waste recycling centres
  • Country Parks
  • Highways verges that were already managed for conservation prior to KCC taking part in No Mow May.

Read the report to find out more about how we took part in No Mow May and the positive impacts of these changes. We hope by analysing the results we can make 2024 an even better year for No Mow May.

Read the No Mow May report (PDF, 4.0 MB)

Changing the way highway verges are maintained

We have made changes to the months we cut grass verges and hedges and how we categorise the road verges to balance road safety with how we can provide benefits to bees, insects and birds. Go to our soft landscapes pages for details of what we look after and when.

Rural verge cutting

We have introduced a tiered approach to when we cut our verges depending on the potential biodiversity and value for pollinators of the verge, balanced against the need for highway safety.

We used to cut rural verges once a year during June and July. We now cut once in spring and once in autumn, to allow wildflowers to flower in summer to benefit pollinating bees and insects. We will also cut at different times to help provide a succession of wildflowers over many months, so pollinators have food plants to feed upon for longer and can use our road verges to move between habitats.

Urban verge cutting

We are focussing our efforts on verges with higher value biodiversity potential to produce better results in a shorter amount of time. Most of these roads tend to be in rural areas. For our urban verges we are looking at how we can effectively, easily and cheaply, improve biodiversity on a small number of large urban verges. We are:

  • seeing how quickly nutrient rich verges can become successful low nutrient wildflower sites
  • trying plug planting and seeding with customised mixes to help speed up the colonisation of wildflower species on some verges
  • with developers, discussing and encouraging wildflower seed mixes or wildflower turfing instead of traditional grass seed and turfing.

Hedge cutting

We have moved our rural hedge cutting from autumn to winter months, so berries remain on hedgerows for longer for winter-feeding birds.

Most urban hedge cutting already takes place in autumn and winter. We identify the berry holding hedges, which we cut in summer, to see if we can delay cutting to the winter if this will still keep the roads and footpaths safe for users and clear of vegetation obstruction.