At The Birlinn Yarn Company we have chosen to support the work of The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
As a family, we run a croft on the isle of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides where we rear Hebridean sheep. From their wool, and by working with other local island crofters, we produce a range of knitting yarn and related products. These, like our Hebridean sheep, are rare and small in number, sustainably produced, they glean their aesthetic qualities from the Hebridean landscape and culture.
Living in this wild and special place, we are constantly reminded of how important it is to care for our environment. In particular, the machair common grazing (raised beach area between the hill and shore) is a very important habitat supporting an amazing range of flora, insects and of course bees. This tiny creature plays an enormous role not just in terms of biodiversity but the pollination of commercial crops.
However, bees are under threat. One third of the remaining bees species in the UK are on conservation priority species lists due to their large-scale declines in distribution. Saving bees is not just important for saving biodiversity and beautiful habitats like our machair but it is also important to our economy and human food supply chain.