Bee Roadzz employ ‘citizen science’ to monitor the impact of campaign

Bee Roadzz employ ‘citizen science’ to monitor the impact of campaign

Garden bumblebee visits Thistle in wild flower strip bordering Barley crop.

The inaugural Bee Roadzz Week, held from the 17th to 22nd April, was hailed a success by its organisers the Marlborough Downs Space for Nature (MDSfN) and Transition Marlborough. Over 200 people, including children and adults, attended five free events across the week in the Marlborough area, that focussed on encouraging everyone to be ‘Bee Friendly,’ and highlighted the importance of bees and pollinators, and how to provide habitat for them in gardens and outdoor spaces.

Following concerns nationally that numbers of pollinating insects such as bees and hover flies may be declining, the Bee Roadzz campaign is the first for the Marlborough area, and has identified four insect highways – ‘Bee Roadzz’ – that radiate out from Marlborough to Avebury, Broad Hinton, Chiseldon, and Pewsey. Their purpose is to create feeding, nesting and over-wintering habitat on farms, gardens, verges and public open spaces.  Ultimately, the aim of the campaign is to monitor pollinator populations in the region and hopefully help increase them.

The Bee Roadzz campaign wants to encourage everyone in the Marlborough area to do their bit by planting pollinator friendly plants, as well as engaging in ‘citizen science’ by logging their pollinator visitors.

Dr. Jemma Batten, project manager of MDSfN and Bee Roadzz said;

“Bee Roadzz launch week was a huge success and we are very grateful to everybody who supported it, as well as all the experts who provided such valuable information on how we can help bees and other pollinators.

“We are asking everyone who lives or works along the Bee Roadzz to plant ‘Bee Friendly’ gardens, hanging baskets and pots, creating ‘service stations’ where pollinators can feed.  Furthermore, we want to inspire other regions to get involved, so we need to be able to show that the insect highways are valuable to pollinators, so we are looking to use citizen science by getting people to do their own monthly pollinator count.

“Both planting and the count are lots of fun, and anyone can have a go, you don’t need any special skills; just visit our website for more information on bee friendly plants and a guide on how to do the count”.

The next Marlborough Downs; A Space for Nature event, where there will be a focus on pollinators is Open Farm Sunday at Temple Farm, Rockley on Sunday 10 June, where all are welcome.