The Edinburgh Pollinator Pledge 2017-2024

The Pollinator Pledge was a key Edinburgh Living Landscape project focused on engaging members of the population with actions, whether small or large, that they can conduct for pollinators. The aim was to get as many people as possible to sign up to undertaking any pollinator-friendly activities, from planting specific flora species in their gardens, to crafting window boxes.

The final pledges have now been made in Spring 2024, and we can reveal that 272 pledges were made across Edinburgh! Many thanks to those of you who got involved and pledged to make their outdoor space better for pollinators. In taking the pledge and filling in the form on our website, you have added a symbol to our map below. There is an interactive map on our dedicated project webpage.


The decline

Although the formal part of this project has come to a close, our pollinator friends still need us more than ever. Pollinators such as bees, moths, butterflies and many more, provide the free service of crop pollination to Scotland, which assists the economy and provides us with some of our key crops. However, since 1980, the number of pollinating insects in Scotland has declined by over 50%, as a results of their many threats, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, changes in land use, disease, pesticides, and the ever-present threat of climate change. Furthermore, we’ve lost over 95% of wildflower meadows, which is prime pollinator habitat, since the 1930s. This could have a negative impact on agriculture, food security, the economy, and human health, as well as biodiversity systems.

A cause for optimism

There are a number of initiatives at a governmental and organisational level which seek to improve pollinator numbers and their distribution across Scotland. The Pollinator Strategy 2017-2027 seeks to address the causes of declines in population, diversity and range of our pollinator species in Scotland, and help them to thrive into the future. At a more local, Edinburgh level, the Edinburgh Nature Network seeks to improve the urban landscape of Edinburgh for nature. 200 opportunities to take action have been identified across the city region, with many of these being pollinator-friendly activities. The delivery of these actions is being tracked, with actions for pollinators already logged including the creation and maintenance of pollinator-friendly wildflower meadows along the Cramond Foreshore and in Peffermill Playing Fields, as well as other positive actions for nature which consider pollinators.

What can I do?

There are a number of great resources online for creating your own pollinator haven. Although the Pollinator Pledge has come to a close, we are leaving the content and resources online for inspiration. Take a look at the Pollinator Pledge project page and at these additional ideas too – there is so much that can be done at an individual level.

Alternatively, as it is May – try No Mow May! By avoiding the regular effort of lugging your lawnmower around your garden – back and forth, back and forth – you can instead provide a feast for pollinators. A selection of wildflowers will look so much better for your garden this May than a plain green lawn. This is a way of getting involved no matter the size of your garden. Be a lazy gardener for once!


Leo Charlesworth