Climate Action North on reimagining and restoring outdoor areas

This year marks the beginning of the UN’s Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which is intended to raise awareness of the importance of protecting and reviving ecosystems around the world and moving toward a sustainable future.

Reimagining, recreating and restoring is exactly what Climate Action North has been striving towards through its Pollinator Parks initiative, which focuses on reversing the alarming decline in wild pollinators. It does this by rewilding and transforming outdoor areas on retail and business parks into ecological oases, to help bees, butterflies and birds thrive and flourish.

To date, Pollinator Parks have been established at Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Centre in County Durham and at the Business Innovation Centre in Sunderland; wildflower mini-meadows have been introduced on both sites, showing how small-scale rewilding can support and care for wildlife, as well as repairing broken ecosystems.

An official opening event for the Pollinator Park at Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Centre is set to take place at the end of July. More work is planned for later in the year to restore an area of land at the site for wildlife and pollinators, as well as creating an outdoor classroom for climate action learning, which will benefit the local community.

“Pollinator Parks is our way of contributing to the UN Decade on Ecosystems Restoration and ties in strongly with UN Sustainable Development Goals, which many businesses are now incorporating into their CSR activities,” said Climate Action North managing director Sharon Lashley.

“Typically, business parks tend to focus on landscaping areas, which may be tidy and manicured but definitely lack nectar-rich areas for pollinators to land, and this is what inspired us to set up Pollinator

Parks,” Sharon continued. “We want to work with more businesses to inspire them to restore their business park areas, providing essential areas for pollinators while also learning about taking climate action for ecosystem restoration.”

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