New PoMS website launched

The new PoMS website was launched on 20 May 2021. The new site contains all the information, guides and recording forms you need to take part in PoMS, and you can see the survey results as they come in.

All the recording forms, guidance documents and background information that was previously available via this page is now on the new site.

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FIT Count screenshot

New FIT Count app launched

We are pleased to annouce the launch of our new FIT Count app. This provides all you need to carry out a FIT Count in the field and then upload your results so that can form part of PoMS. The app is free to download. Scroll down to find the full FIT Count survey instructions, recording form and identification guides.

Project overview

Pollinator Monitoring and Research Partnership

The Pollinator Monitoring and Research Partnership (PMRP) aims to establish how insect pollinator populations are changing across Great Britain. We are working with existing recording schemes that focus on pollinating insects, and have established two new large-scale surveys under the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme banner (PoMS) – read on to find out how you can take part and help us track changes in pollinator numbers.

PoMS surveys update at 20 May 2021

Flower-Insect Timed Counts (FIT Counts) started from 1 April this year and the 1km square surveys continue from May onwards (where weather conditions and covid restrictions allow).

We would love you to take part by contributing 10-minute FIT Counts from sites that you can safely access, but please continue to follow current guidance on covid restrictions in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Remember that guidance may change quickly, and may differ between different countries and regions of the UK.

The guidance regarding FIT Counts and surveys will continue to be reviewed in light of government advice. Updates to the guidance will be communicated to all volunteers currently allocated to PoMS 1 km squares, and via the PoMS website and Twitter account @PoMScheme.

In all cases please ensure that you are following current government advice as provided for your country: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales.

Our surveys

The two PoMS surveys are described below, and we are seeking volunteers to help with each:

1. FIT Counts: if you can spare ten minutes to sit and watch insects and flowers you can carry out a FIT Count (Flower-Insect Timed Count)! This simple survey collects data on the total number of insects that visit a particular flower, ideally chosen from our list of 14 target flowers. FIT Counts can be done anywhere, including gardens and parks, in warm, dry weather any time from April to September. All the information you need can be found on the PoMS website FIT Counts page.

 

2. 1 km square surveys: This survey takes a more systematic approach, using pan-traps to capture take samples of insects from a set of 75 1 km squares in England, Scotland and Wales (see link under "Latest news" to download a map of the locations). These have been randomly allocated within cropped and non-cropped land. The site network has been set up by CEH surveyors, and the sampling and flower monitoring is carried out by our brilliant team of volunteers who have 'adopted' the squares and help carry out the surveys. There are still squares available to adopt! If you'd like to know more about how to get involved with this please contact poms@ceh.ac.uk and see the video guide to the 1 km square survey via the link under "Latest news" on the right.

Data from the two PoMS surveys and the recording schemes is brought together for analysis to deliver key metrics on pollinator population status and trends, including updates of the UK Pollinator Indicator at species and country-level resolution.

These activities will be coupled with ongoing links with the wider research community to facilitate use of the data in research, conservation and survey planning, and deliver a sustainable UK Pollinator Monitoring and Research Partnership (PMRP).

The project will focus on bees and hoverflies (based on evidence that they provide a high proportion of the pollination service to crops and wildflowers), although the methods used will sample or survey a wide range of other flower-visiting insects. Protocols and materials will be made widely accessible to allow their use beyond core survey sites and to measure the impacts of specific activities.

 


PoMS is the only scheme in the world generating systematic data on the abundance of bees, hoverflies and other flower-visiting insects at a national scale (currently across England, Wales and Scotland). Together with long-term occurrence records collated by the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society and Hoverfly Recording Scheme, these data will form an invaluable resource from which to measure trends in pollinator populations and target our conservation efforts.

With reports of dramatic losses of insects occurring across the globe, and concern about what this means for wider biodiversity and ecosystem health, there has never been a more important time to document evidence of change in populations of pollinating insects.


Want to get involved?

For more information about the project please contact poms@ceh.ac.uk or see the PoMS website.

Visit the Bees’ Needs webpage for information and five simple actions you can take to help pollinators.

This is a collaborative project funded by Defra, JNCC, the Welsh Government, Scottish Government, Daera and project partners.

Project Partners

  • The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
  • Butterfly Conservation
  • British Trust for Ornithology
  • Hymettus
  • Natural History Museum
  • University of Reading
  • University of Leeds
  • working with the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society, wider stakeholders and volunteer networks.

Partners

Principal Investigator

I am a terrestrial ecologist with a particular passion for bumblebees and other insect pollinators and broader research interests in the interactions between biodiversity and land-use change. I use a combination of field observations, experiments, molecular genetics, analyses of long-term datasets and modelling approaches to answer research questions.