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Science

Bumblr

We created a citizen science app called Bumblr – (for iPhone and Android) for people to list when and where they saw one of the species of Bumblebee found in Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. So far we have tracked more than 10,000 sightings of Bumblebees in one year. The app was developed on island by a father of three who is also a firefighter. The data is being analysed by researchers at the University of Bristol ecology department, to provide a baseline measurement to assess future Bumblebee sightings against. We hope to roll this out to Jersey and to a second app for Guernsey Bailiwick butterflies.

We work with ecologist Dr Miranda Bane to set malaise insect traps in multiple countryside and garden locations in Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney and Sark, as the start of an eight-year scientific survey to track the number and variety of pollinators in the Channel Islands. This will be repeated each July and the data will be analysed to inform future conservation action plans. 

Science

Insect Traps

Science

Biological Records

man photographing a plant on a beach

We regularly record the number and variety of butterflies and moths in the islands, submitting thorough records to the Guernsey Biological Records Centre and the UK Butterfly Conservation Trust.

We collaborate with pollination ecologists around the world – including the University of Ulm, Germany who is running an ecology project in islands including the Bailiwick islands.  

Science

Collaborations

Education

Wildlife Habitats at Schools

For three years running we have engaged 3500 of the islands school children in conservation – they went on create wildlife habitats outside their classrooms and in their own school grounds. The hugely enthusiastic students, of all ages, dug and planted nectar rich patches, pollinator shrubs and trees, put up bee hotels and built wildlife refuges such as log piles and bee banks. Students have been on pollinator hunts and begun identifying and recorded the species that they have found on school sites with a view to developing an island-wide school recording project.

We regularly give talks to schools and community groups from small gardening groups and the WI to St Peter Port Douzaine and large corporations such as the GSFC, about pollinators and their habitats and how to protect both. We include Sark and Alderney groups too and liaise with our counterparts in Jersey.  

Education

Educational Talks

Education

Art Competitions

Our Pollinator Project lockdown initiative, together with Guernsey Mind was two connecting competitions, an educational butterfly art competition and a Pollinator Patch competition.

The Guernsey Post delivery of a leaflet about pollinators went to 28,000 Guernsey households in one week. The leaflet had lots of ideas about how to garden with wildlife conservation in mind, which pollinators we can see in Guernsey, and enjoying the mental health benefits of spending time in green spaces and ways to connect with nature.

Education

Free Garden Advice

Education

Butterfly Art

Designing a ‘Create A Guernsey Butterfly’ sheet, which was sent with the above-mentioned leaflet pack. The idea was that people could create a butterfly artwork (of one of the butterflies seen in Guernsey) and learn about conserving them at the same time. This ran as a creative competition, open to everyone. Local primary school teachers loved this idea with whole classes sending in their butterfly art. And as we had 18,000 pieces of beautiful butterfly art sent in, a swarm even, we created a giant display of these at St James and an exhibition post-lockdown at Le Friquet garden centre. These exhibitions had information about bees and butterflies too. 

We also give advice to land owners about creating larger wildflower meadows on fields or Pollinator Patches on disused agricultural sites. We put up Pollinator Patch signs so that people can spot them around the island, encouraging the feeling of belonging to something bigger, and showing them what a pollinator habitat looks (and sounds and smells like). 

Education

Advice on Pollinator Patches

Education

Facilitate Learning Locally

Another part of our educational work for adults is to facilitate learning and provide a local focal point for conversation about positive action – how people can help pollinators. We do this via traditional media and social media. To date 1,300 local people have joined our Pollinator Project Guernsey group on Facebook to ask questions, show their Pollinator Patches to each other, give each other encouragement and advice about their own Pollinator Patches (or public sites). More than 4500 people have viewed our pollinator-engagement videos

Our international work caught the attention of a UK conservationist and TV presenter Nick Baker, who got involved, becoming an ambassador for the Pollinator Project and creating a video about how to garden to help wildlife in Guernsey.

Education

Nick Baker

Education

Conservation Forum

The Pollinator Project flew the Guernsey flag high when we presented our work to international conservationists at the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, including the UK environment minister Lord Zac Goldsmith, the Gibraltar environment minister and the Isle of Man Wildlife Trust among others.   

We were part of the organising committee for the inaugural Island Wildlife Garden competition – which encourages people to improve their gardens with sustainability and wildlife in mind. 28 garden owners entered, recording species seen in their gardens. Feedback will be given on wildlife gardening best practice and the highest scoring gardens will be used as case studies for best practice examples for others to follow.

Education

Island Wildlife Garden

Education

30/30 Auction

We have worked with 30 local artists to use art to highlight the plight (and beauty) of our declining pollinators. We are working with Les Bourgs Hospice team to organize exhibitions to display the art (to further the message’s spread). We are also working with Martel Maides and St James to auction for these artworks to raise money for the artists and Les Bourgs Hospice building work later this year.

Action

Pollinator Patches

We have helped people create Pollinator Patches, with native seed (of flowers that are already recorded in Guernsey) in gardens. These seeds have not been treated with insecticide.  We have also planted pollinator-friendly flowers (food) in many local primary school grounds, at St Matthews Church fields, the Brothers Cemetery, St John’s Church, Princess Elizabeth Hospital, Bulwer Avenue and on Guernsey Water land at Church Road, St Sampsons. We have also planted spring bulbs for pollinators at public gardens like Bruce Russell gardens. These areas did not previously have food planting for pollinators.  

Action

Seed Packets

We obtained funding to create packets of insecticide-free, organic flower seeds, that we then packed and distributed to over 4000 local households in 2020 and 2021. These came with advice about how to create Pollinator Patches and lots of people said they found joy in watching their seedlings grow into flowers that fed pollinators nectar and pollen.

Action

Pollinator Patch Competition

The free seeds giveaway blossomed into a Pollinator Patch competition, where 10 people won a £100 voucher each from GROW Limited. The prize fund was kindly donated by a corporate sponsor, which benefitted another local charity. As GROW sells a pollinator-friendly range of plants, the prizes help the environment even more. The idea was that Pollinator Patch winners can spend their vouchers at GROW on more pollinator-friendly plants. In many cases, the Pollinator Patches are still there as many seeds were perennial flowers or set seed.

We also manage habitats, for example removing invasive, non-native plant species such as Sour Fig at Les Tielles. This was dominating other plant species that the caterpillars of the Glanville Fritillary butterfly feed on and the plants where the butterflies lay eggs. This butterfly is dangerously low in numbers and if we do not clear its habitat of this invasive plant we will watch the eradication of this species and others from our island. We also support the Guernsey Conservation Volunteers who also manage this important task.

Action

Habitat Management

Action

Protection of the Bee Cliff

Another habitat that we have provided hours towards – to proactively create and protect – is the bee cliff at Fort Le Marchant on L’Ancresse common. Some solitary (mining) bees burrow in sandy soil so need an area that is clear from gorse and bracken and not walked on (by humans and dogs) to be able to safely nest and breed in.  

We worked with Guernsey Waste and States Works on a pesticide-amnesty day where people disposed of almost 900 items of unwanted pesticides safely at Longue Hougue. We also provided information on best practice about how to remove weeds/pests organically instead of using harmful chemicals. There is an ongoing communication plan for this, also involving Guernsey Water (regarding safe disposal of pesticide containers).

Action

Pesticide Amnesty

Action

Nature Trail for Herm

We advised on the wildlife element of the Nature Trail for Herm Island.

We worked with Guernsey Waste and States Works on a pesticide-amnesty day where people disposed of almost 900 items of unwanted pesticides safely at Longue Hougue. We also provided information on best practice about how to remove weeds/pests organically instead of using harmful chemicals. There is an ongoing communication plan for this, also involving Guernsey Water (regarding safe disposal of pesticide containers).

Action

St Peter Port Bee Trail

Action

Free Pollinator Friendly Plants

We provided 150 pollinator-friendly plants for free, at St Peters Gardens weekend in June. These were all organic, pesticide-free in peat-free compost and in recycled plastic.