Let's count pollinators for Science!

'Most flowering plants on the Earth need help with pollination  to produce seeds and fruit, and to reproduce. For this they need pollinators. And since we rely on plants for our food, medicine, and other resources, we need pollinators too.

Many pollinators in the UK are in decline and we're not sure why. This is because there haven't been long-term, standardised studies of their populations.'

So we have been getting to know our Wildflower patch a little bit better by taking part in the Flower-Insect Timed count. It also gives us the chance to add our little contribution to a long-term national data set.

Please note: This count needs to be carried out on a sunny day between April and September with temperatures above 12 degrees.

Here is a short video to get you started:

First we found our patch! This can be your own garden, park, nature reserve or countryside. We chose a patch in our garden where we often see pollinators frequenting the buttercups.

If you can, then it's best to find a target flower patch but if not, there is a list of suggested alternative flowers you can focus on.

Next we took a picture of our patch, laid down our home-made 50 x 50cm quadrat, counted the open flowers and noted down the insects which visited during our 10 minute observation.

Click here for help making the quadrat.
Click here for the free flower guide.
Click here for the insect identification guide.
Click here for the recording form.

And finally submitted our results to the IRecord!

What a great way to take our Science class outdoors! This lesson was easily adapted to their abilities. The older ones learnt all about pollination and collecting data using a quadrat whilst the younger ones enjoyed spotting and counting insects!

For more info and to register for an IRecord account then please visit the Grow Wild website here.

Happy counting! :)