South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has set out plans to make farmers encourage bees and other insects on to their land.
The environment secretary set out her “pollinator’s strategy”, which will offer more funding to landowners who improve conditions for insects that help to fertilise plants and grow crops and fruits, at a speech in London on Tuesday.
And householders are also being encouraged to get involved by planting flowers, shrubs and trees which are rich in nectar and pollen in their own gardens.
Ms Truss said pollination by insects was worth around £430 million to the UK economy.
She added: “Our health, our jobs and our future prosperity and security depend on nature in this country remaining clean, healthy and beautiful – a place where families want to visit and rural businesses can grow as part of our long term economic plan.
“That is why we have taken action with cleaner water, cleaner air and the planting of eight million trees.
“This healthy environment is vital for securing a better future – keeping the countryside a living place and an economic success story.”
The initiative has been backed by the Waitrose and Co-op supermarket chains and a new Countryside Stewardship scheme is to be set up to encourage farmers to provide the types of plants which are most attractive to bees on their lands.
More information about the programme is available at www.beesneeds.org.uk.