MEMBERS of the public will have the chance this month to join the mission to protect one of nature’s vital little creatures – the humble bumblebee.

Whether you’re already a fan of these busy little animals, or keen to learn more about them, this session gives nature lovers the opportunity to do their bit for bumblebee conservation and learn how to help identification skills to contribute to recording their numbers.

Sustrans are running the ‘Beginner’s Bumblebee Identification Course’ as part of their wildlife Project Greener Greenways with the aim to improve and enhance biodiversity on traffic-free sections of the National Cycle Network (NCN).

The organisation has been running training sessions in the identification of different wildlife for the last four years, paying particular attention to birds, bumblebees and butterflies, feeding into national surveys that are looking for volunteers.

The session, at Bowling Harbour, will give volunteers the skills in identifying common bumblebees so they can undertake Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s BeeWalk survey from now until October.

There are currently around 35 Sustrans transects set up across Scotland, and the organisation has helped Bumblebee Conservation Trust to grow their regular surveyors.

Laura White, volunteer coordinator, told the Reporter: “Bumblebee recording sessions are a great way for people get out by foot or bike and explore their local National Cycle Network routes.

“The National Cycle Network plays a vital role in supporting and promoting a wide variety of wildlife in Scotland and is a fantastic place for people to experience some of the rich biodiversity that Scotland has to offer.

“We hope to encourage more people to take part in our wildlife volunteering and record[ing], something that is vital to the future health of wildlife in Scotland.”

The session is run by Bumblebee Conservation Trust and hosted by Scottish Canals BHive Activity Centre, Bowling Harbour, on May 19 from 10am-3.30pm.

Advanced booking is required. The session is almost full, but anyone interested can sign up by emailing