25 Jul Your 5-step guide to pollination
This year all us rangers at the Hampshire Countryside Service are each making a pledge to do something to help our pollinators.
If you’re wondering what a pollinator is exactly and why we need to save them, then read on…
- What is a pollinator?
A pollinator is any animal that moves pollen, such as bees, wasps, moths, butterflies, birds, flies, ants and small mammals. Some intentionally collect pollen, like many bee species. Others move pollen accidentally, like butterflies.
FACT: There are at least 1,500 species of insect pollinators in the UK.
- What is pollination?
It’s when pollen is moved in and between flowers of the same species. This fertilises the plant, so it can produce seeds and fruit. Some plants are pollinated by the wind, while others are designed to attract pollinating animals. Insects are attracted to plants to feed on nectar. As they move from flower to flower, pollen sticks to their bodies and is transferred.
FACT: 1 out of 3 mouthfuls of food we eat relies on pollination.
- Why are pollinators important?
Plants supply food, create oxygen, provide homes for animals, control the world’s water supply, and regulate the climate. And they look nice too.
FACT: Nearly 80% of all flowering plants are pollinated by insects. Without them these insects then plant populations would fall drastically.
- Why are pollinators declining?
Pollinators face many pressures that have led to declines in numbers and a reduction in the diversity of species in many parts of the country and across the globe. Some of the possible causes are:
- Pesticides: they impact the behaviour of insects
- Decline in habitat and sources of food: due to development and human land use
- Intensive farming: resulting in less plant diversity and non-native plant strains
- International markets: spreads pests and disease on a global level and creates competition from invasive species
- Climate change: affects the seasonal behaviour of plants and animals
- Air pollution: affects species and habitat health
- Artificial lighting: alters species natural behaviour
- How can you help?
Make a pledge to do one thing to help pollinators. Whether it’s making space for nature, reducing your environmental impact or supporting worthy causes.
Check out our blog ‘THE EASY WAY TO ATTRACT POLLINATORS ALL YEAR ROUND’ for ideas.
Ready to make a difference? Tell us what you’re planning to do to save our pollinators.
Like our Hampshire Countryside Facebook page and add your pledge to the comments section. You can also share ideas and advice with our community of countryside fans.
Love Carly x