FIT fun for all
You don't have to move far to get 'FIT' this spring. Boost nature's strength by having a go at a FIT Count (Flower-Insect Timed Count). Like a game of bee and butterfly bingo, anyone can complete the simple survey which runs from April to September. If you can spare 10 minutes to sit and watch insects and flowers, then this is a garden game for you. Get to know the VIPs (Very Important Pollinators) visiting your pot plants and flower beds today.
Why is counting pollinators like bees and butterflies important?
We have pollinators to thank for every third mouthful we eat but pollinating insects are in decline. To help make a change, we need to understand the extent of the loss. We can make a start on this by gathering data.
How does completing a FIT Count help?
A Flower-Insect Timed Count is a great way for us all to get to know the pollinators that are visiting our flower pots, gardens and outdoor spaces. FIT Counts help collect data on the total number of insects that visit a particular flower, ideally chosen from a list of 14 target flowers.
FIT Counts can be done from your garden, your window or even on your daily local walk, ideally in the warm, dry weather from April to September. If you can carry out several counts at one location during that time then even better - as you will be adding extra value to your survey records.
By completing a FIT Count, you will get close to nature and help gather important data that will help protect it. Plus it will make a great garden game to keep the family focused.
How to take part?
All the details you need to get started are included in the FIT Count Guide which you can download here:
In a nutshell, you need to watch a 50x50cm patch of flowers for 10 minutes and record how many insects visit on the count sheet provided.
What to do next?
This is an all-Ireland survey with data feeding into the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme. Details of how to log your counts is included in the booklet.
Want to know more? You can track where counts have taken place at https://pollinators.ie/record-pollinators/fit-count/
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHCp4uP5C8U to watch a short video created by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency which will take you through the steps.
Give it a go and give back to nature - we’ll all reap the rewards.