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Cross Pollination Project

Author/Lead: Cally Fiddimore

Type of Content: Community engagement / outreach

Helping bees and insects in our very own gardens and parks is probably the most widespread and easy opportunity we have to make a difference. The Cross Pollination Project will bring together scientists, gardeners and communities in Tunbridge Wells so we can grow seeds of knowledge into action.

With help from local communities and schools combined with expert knowledge from Sussex University we will be creating 6 public demonstration gardens loaded with pollinator friendly plants. These gardens will raise awareness of appropriate bee-friendly gardening and offer a citizen science opportunity as local volunteers and students will use them to collect important data.

This 3 year Heritage Lottery Funded project will also offer fantastic opportunities to get involved and learn new skills as annual talks, training and workshops will be available to the wider community.

The project is managed by the Kent High Weald Partnership, working in partnership with the University of Sussex’s Laboratory for Apiculture and Social Insects, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, local artists and beekeeper Ellen Montelius and Lizzy Clayman, and other local organisations.

To find out more please contact Cally at KHWP on 01580 212972 or email cally@khwp.org.uk. You can also follow the project on Facebook and Twitter @crosspolproject

Food in a row: urban trees offer valuable floral resources to pollinating insects

Author/Lead: Laurent Somme et al.

Type of Content: Peer reviewed research paper

This study examined the value of common trees planted in Western European urban environments for pollinators. Indicating that trees should not be forgotten when designing planting for pollinators.

‘Bee Hotels’ as Tools for Native Pollinator Conservation: A Premature Verdict?

Author/Lead: Scott MacIvor

Type of Content: Peer reviewed research paper

This study of nearly 600 bee hotels in Canada over 3 years. They found that introduced bee nested in 32.9% of sites and represented 47.1% of all individuals recorded. Native bees also used the sites but suffered a higher rate of parasitism than the introduced bees. They also found that native wasps occupied almost 3/4 of the sites showing that nests provide homes for many different types of native insect.

Which ‘bee-friendly’ plants attract the most bees?: 2016 update

Author/Lead: Rosi Rollings

Type of Content: Report

A summary of a study to quantify the relative attractiveness of ‘bee-friendly’ garden or wild plants to bees by Rosybee nursaries.

The study scored the attractiveness of 58 plants, including 13 native and 45 non-native, by multiplying the number of bees attracted per square meter of the plants by the length of flowering period.

With this method, they were able to list the top 30 flowering plants out of their sample and show which pollinator guild they suited best: honey bees, bumblebees or solitary bees.

Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy Report for 2015 and 2016

Author/Lead: Janne Mortten Katherine Baldock

Type of Content: Community engagement / outreach

The project is based within the greater Bristol area and aims to
1.Protect existing habitat and increase the amount of pollinator habitat across the Greater Bristol urban area.
2.Raise awareness of the importance of insect pollinators among the public, business and private landowners.

It aims to do this by:

1. Founding a local Pollinator Forum to share knowledge and best practice among organisations and community groups.
2. Establishing a joined-up approach to pollinator conservation in the Greater Bristol area by linking projects together through the ‘Get Bristol Buzzing’ initiative.
3. Identifying and map locations of good pollinator habitat in the Greater Bristol Area.
4. Seting up a ‘Get Bristol Buzzing’ website and promote available resources.
5. Engageing with the public and encourage pollinator-friendly gardening practices.
6. Running Workshops to increase knowledge and understanding of land management for pollinators.
7. Review the Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy at the end of 2015 and revise if necessary.

The report shows the progress of the project in 2015-16 and provides information and inspiration how other areas can do similar.

All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Guidelines for Councils

Author/Lead: Úna Fitzpatrick

Type of Content: Guideline for practioners

Councils can play a leading role in implementing the Pollinator Plan by making their land more pollinator friendly. In the Republic of Ireland this will involve County and City Councils. In Northern Ireland it will involve Borough, District and City Councils. To help pollinators we need to ensure that they have food, shelter and safety from chemicals such as pesticides. Many pollinator friendly actions simply require us to manage the land in a slightly different way than we have become used to. It is not about letting the landscape go wild, but about managing it in a way that is sustainable for pollinators so that they can survive and continue to provide us with their vital service.
Parks and open spaces can also play the important role of increasing connectivity between pollinator friendly sites in the wider countryside. It is not only Councils who are being asked to play a role. Guidelines targeting farmers, local community groups, gardeners, businesses, transport authorities and others are also being produced. All guidelines are evidence-based, provide a variety of options to support all spaces, and are pragmatic/low-cost.

Food for pollinators: Quantifying the nectar and pollen resources of urban flower meadows

Author/Lead: Damien Hicks

Type of Content: Peer reviewed research paper

Evaluating ‘pollinator friendly’ urban flower meadow seed mixes for provision of food (nectar and pollen).

Trees or Turf? Best value in managing green space

Author/Lead: Land Use Consultants

Type of Content: Report

A comparison of the costs associated with the maintenance of different types of grassland and woodland management schemes. This summary focuses on the findings pertaining to three different types of grassland: amenity, rough, and meadow.

Focal Plant Observations as a Standardised Method for Pollinator Monitoring: Opportunities and Limitations for Mass Participation Citizen Science

Author/Lead: Helen Roy

Type of Content: Peer reviewed research paper

Schoolchildren from across the UK took part in the Big Bumblee Discovery, a one-year citizen science project that sought to assess the influence of the landscape at multiple scales on bumblebee diversity and abundance. This paper summarises the results of all 3948 reports submitted from over 4000 schools.

Britain in Bloom – Social, economic, transformational: the far-reaching impacts of Britain’s biggest community horticulture movement

Author/Lead: n/a

Type of Content: Community engagement / outreach

A summary of the two RHS community gardening programmes ‘Britain in Bloom’ and ‘In Your Neighbourhood’ through which communities plant an average of 115,000 trees, 352,000 shrubs and 21.6 million plants each year.

A survey of participating communities showed that community gardening projects such as these have a highly beneficial effect on community development and foster a strong sense of civic pride. Nearly half of respondents also reported a reduction in crime and a safer environment in general.

This has financial implications for local councils, which can save costs in green space management, street furniture maintenance, litter collection, graffiti removal and managing antisocial behaviour. These benefits should be brought forward by volunteers wishing to get local councils involved in their community projects.