A POLLINATION project called Urban Buzz will be officially launched in York today.

The Buglife scheme aims to design and deliver flower-rich areas in the city to benefit bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

York is one of eight cities taking part alongside Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester and Plymouth.

The three-year project will see each city receive 18 months' support thanks to a £1m plus grant from Biffa Award.

City of York Council is also on board, along with sizeable contributions from other funders both nationally and locally.

Harry Woolner, Buglife’s Urban Buzz Officer in York, said: "This project is the biggest scale urban-based project for UK bees and will help create a template that can be repeated across the entire United Kingdom to help secure a long-term future for our vital pollinators.

"Today the urban environment provides one of the mainstays for our pollinators but increased concreting over of gardens and brownfield space is putting increasing strains on species survival.

"The Urban Buzz project will help redress the balance in favour of our pollinating friends who play a crucial role in pollinating many of our food crops as well as the beautiful flowers we enjoy.”

Urban Buzz's first phase will see project officers consulting with the residents of York, Birmingham, Cardiff and Plymouth on the best places to create new flower-rich areas to enhance the cities.

This initial work will be followed by intensive seed sowing and plug planting to create lush, vibrant flower rich swards.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for culture, leisure and tourism at York council, said: "We're pleased to have this opportunity to work closely with Buglife and local communities to enhance the environment for pollinators and wildflowers in York.

"This new project enhances existing work taking place to benefit the urban environment, such as our work with Buglife to protect the Tansy Beetle and introducing allotment apiaries.

"Urban Buzz will give community groups and individuals the chance to get involved in creating some fantastic new habitats for our wildlife."

Gillian French, head of grants, Biffa Award said: “Pollinators are vital in any ecosystem and we’re really proud to be supporting this essential conservation work.

"The team at Buglife have grand plans, and we’re pleased that the Landfill Communities Fund can be used to help them achieve their ambitions.”

Any organisation or individual who wishes to become involved in the York work can contact Harry on harry.woolner@buglife.org.uk or 07464 828 626.