A clever new app allows Brits to count buzzing bees and beautiful butterflies, as part of the latest drive to protect pollinators.
The free FIT Count app, supported by Defra, makes it easier to track pollinator numbers and movements, providing crucial data that can be used to support them in our natural environment. From how bees are shifting in response to climate change to where numbers are diminishing, it's an excellent way for us to connect with nature.
"We all want to see an abundance of butterflies and bees in our gardens, parks and countryside," Rebecca Pow, Environment Minister, said. "We are encouraging people to give just 10 minutes of their time to count the pollinating insects they see using this app to help us track their numbers and movements, and support our efforts to reverse the decline of these vital species."
How does it work? To use the app, simply download it from Google Play or the App Store. It will allow you to carry out a FIT Count and upload the results all in one go (you don't need to have internet signal). Once your counts have been saved and uploaded, you will be able to view them via the FIT Count map. This lets you see what other people have spotted, including which flowers the bees have targeted.
Contributing the equivalent of more than £500 million a year to UK agriculture and food production, pollinators are an essential part of our environment. Not only do they improve crop quality, but they are also vital to our wider ecosystems.
Dr Claire Carvell, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), adds: "FIT Counts are a great way for people to connect with nature. We'd like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who have submitted more than 8,000 counts to the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme so far. This data is helping us build a unique picture of the changing patterns of pollinator visits to flowers across the gardens and countryside of the UK."
Why not download the app and give it a go...
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