GWCT pollinators research

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Resource explained: 

This web page of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) introduces the importance of insect pollination in relation to herbaceous flowering plants and the two-way relationship between them. It highlights the farmer’s role in ensuring the survival of insects that visit flowers, and stresses the importance of appropriately managing existing and new flower-rich areas. There is a link to the Farm4Bio project (which focuses on managing uncropped land to enhance biodiversity). You can also access information about key research in which GWCT have been involved:

  •  ‘Providing the ideal habitat for bumblebees’ refers to a study that looked at bumblebee abundance and nest density of common species on arable farms with and without flower-rich habitats.
  •  ‘Bumblebee use of farmland habitats’ outlines research that looked at differences in pollinator habitats in relation to farmland management.
  •  ‘The birds and the bees’ investigated the impact of pollinating insects on fruit set in hedgerow shrubs.
Findings & recommendations: 
  • Pollinators help provide variety in our diets and they play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity and a healthy ecosystem.
  • Evidence suggests that many pollinating species may be in decline and that it is the combination of different threats that are reducing populations of some species in the wild.
  • The loss of flower-rich habitats increases the impact other pressures, such as intensive agriculture, are having on pollinators.
  • We can all take positive actions to help create or preserve pollinator habitats.
  • Defra is undertaking research to ascertain which pollinator populations are changing, what is causing this change, and which interventions may help most.