First of its kind research programme comes to the Channel Islands

man adjusting malaise tent in field

A collaboration between the Pollinator Project and the University of Bristol has secured a near £1 million grant from the UK to study Channel Island pollinators.

woman in a wood

Dr Miranda Bane, who grew up on Guernsey, will be leading the work in Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney and Sark and will be looking at the abundance and diversity of pollinators across the islands.

The research is unique in studying what happens to the number and variety of pollinators in the real world as pesticide use reduces. It’s the first in the world to do this on an entire island and it will also showcase the Channel Islands for the first time as a world leader in this research area.

Miranda said: “I have always been inspired by the beautiful nature on our island. To be able to bring research expertise on pollinators back to the islands, to help protect and enhance our natural environment, has been my goal since choosing an academic career. It has taken almost 4 years, a lot of hard work and the invaluable support of so many people to secure this research grant. I am so grateful for all the support and so excited to be working on my dream project.”

Professor Jane Memmott from the University of Bristol is head of the UK research team who will regularly visit the islands. Professor Memmott said: “Islands can be viewed as microcosms of the world, large enough to be realistic, but small enough to be tractable for study. And I’m really excited to be working with a team on the Channel Islands for the next four years on pollinators and pesticides.”

The funding enables four years of research on pollinating insects across Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, and Sark. It’s a long-term look at these beneficial insects including bees, butterflies, wasps, flies, beetles and moths and aims to answer questions about the impacts of pesticides on their numbers and will help support future conservation efforts.

Opportunities available in 2024

The money which is being provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will create a number of on-island career opportunities from early next year including a full-time research technician post, annual research internships, a PhD position, and several Master’s degree study opportunities. It will also fund DNA analysis and testing for the presence of pesticides in pollinators through a world-class Canadian laboratory.

Work has been going on since 2019 in preparation with teams of citizen scientists led by Miranda collecting baseline data. In addition States Works have stopped using glyphosate and  the States of Guernsey’s 2022 restriction on the sale of glyphosate products have all contributed to a reduction in use.

Latest news…

Pollinator Field Assistant Internship

  • Do you care about protecting our island’s vital pollinating insects?
  • Are you experienced or interested in learning pollinator survey techniques?
  • Are you organised and enthusiastic, able to work flexibly and independently?

The Pollinator Project is looking for a seasonal pollinator field assistant to help us carry out our summer monitoring activities. This would be an ideal opportunity for someone looking to gain experience in fieldwork survey techniques and working with a conservation charity. We particularly invite applications from students or career switchers looking to enhance their CV.

Location: The fieldwork is carried out at different sites across Guernsey (and Sark). Training will be provided in person on Guernsey and online.

The role

The Pollinator Project, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, runs a suite of pollinator monitoring surveys across the Channel Islands every summer. The surveys are largely carried out by trained volunteers. We are looking for an enthusiastic field assistant to help carry out our most technical survey – collecting DNA samples from bumblebees across the island. The survey will take place over a 2-3 week period in July.

The survey involves looking for bumblebees in specified areas across Guernsey, catching them in a net, cooling them down so they can be handled and taking a very tiny DNA sample from one foot. The bumblebees are released unharmed. The field assistant will be trained in these specific techniques by Miranda Bane (Science lead at the Pollinator Project), building confidence surveying alongside Miranda, until they are ready to survey independently. The work is fiddly and must be done accurately, but surveys are always done in good weather and the work is rewarding.


  • Helping to carry out our annual bumblebee DNA survey across Guernsey (and Sark)
  • Working alongside Miranda Bane, and then independently to catch and sample bumblebees in locations across the island(s)
  • Maintain clear and precise records of surveys carried out
  • Represent the Pollinator Project, being able to answer questions and engage with the public whilst surveying in public places

Essential requirements

  • Willingness to handle living bumblebees – full training will be provided on how to do this safely
  • Available to work flexibly (depending on weather conditions) throughout July
  • Willingness to work on weekends when required
  • Ability to travel around Guernsey ideally by bicycle but alternatively by public transport, car or on foot
  • Good organisation and record-keeping skills
  • A steady hand – able to gently and accurately handle insects and tools


  • Any ecological field survey experience
  • Experience lone working outdoors
  • Knowledge of pollinators and the work of the Pollinator Project

The training and field surveys will take place in July, with specific dates to be confirmed based on weather conditions and other survey constraints.


The successful applicant will receive an ex-gratia payment on successful completion of the work and reasonable local expenses will be paid.

Applicants must be 18+ years old.

Note: This role involves handling live insects. The risk of being stung is small but if you are allergic to insect stings this role might not be suitable for you.

How to apply

If you are interested in this role for 2024 or similar opportunities, please contact miranda @ pollinatorproject. gg with your CV and/or a cover letter stating why you could be a good fit for the role.

The Wild Escape Weekend 18th and 19th March

We are really looking forward to The Wild Escape Weekend at Candie Museum Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March. Come and meet us, join a workshop, do some colouring or even origami- we have lots happening.

From 10 am: we’ll have colouring, terracotta pot painting for you to take home, butterfly origami, advice and free flower seeds.
11am Sunday – Barry the Bugman will talk about Guernsey mini-beasts (aimed at kids but fascinating to all!)
2pm – Gordon will talk about why we work to save pollinators and how they are portrayed in art, new and old.
It’s at the Guernsey Museum at Candie, £7 for adults, £2 for age 7-17, free for under 7s. Or free with a Discovery Pass. All talks and activities are free too.
There are plenty of other child and art activities there too.

It’s a UK national event and you can find out more about the thinking behind the event





We are looking for a new Treasurer

The Pollinator Project LBG is one of the island’s most successful environmental charities. We know that our pollinators including bees, butterflies, moths and other flying insects are vital to our food supply, our well-being and biodiversity on the island. And that they are under threat. So in the 6 years since we formed we have focused on four core activities: education, citizen science, protecting habitats and campaigning against the use of pesticides.

In 2023 we will take on our first employee, launch bee trails and engage with over 4000 primary and junior school children when we share our love of moths with them among many other things. We pride ourselves on getting stuff done.


As our treasurer, you will be volunteering to be a member of the board, and to play a key role in our organisation. We hope you will bring financial controls, budgeting disciplines, manage our audit and relationships with insurers and the banks. And we know you will want to be more than our bookkeeper. You’ll have contacts, views on policies, and you might want to join us in a field or two.


We meet every two weeks to check in and as a board quarterly and flex our times and days to try and match those in full-time employment or with caring responsibilities. Your time commitment can be as little as an hour a week, but that’s how we all started…


Please contact our chair, Gordon Steele, in the first instance to explore how you might be part of helping Guernsey’s nature.

07781 401004


PS If you’ve seen this and just want to know more about us or better still have ideas, time for volunteering or some feedback we welcome that too.