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Garden Survey

In 2012 the Urban Pollinators Project studied the bees and other pollinating insects found in urban habitats in four locations in the UK: Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading.Sampling flowers for insect pollinators in a Leeds garden

Teams of researchers visited a range of urban habitats, including gardens, parks, road verges, allotments, churchyards and cemeteries, to see how good these habitats are for pollinating insects.

Gardens make up a high proportion of the habitats found in urban areas, and we visited 100 gardens in each location. The gardens we visited were in ten randomly selected areas per city or town, and we looked at all kinds of gardens, whether they were large or small, well-tended or weedy, paved or grassed!

The data collected in the 400 gardens give important information about the numbers of insect pollinators and the different species of pollinators that visit gardens, as well as the garden plants that they like to feed on.  However, due to the wet summer in 2012 we are planning to revisit all the gardens we surveyed last year to improve our data sets and help our analyses.  This will also allow us to gather important information about early emerging pollinators, such as bumblebees and solitary bees, as we weren't able to sample during April 2012 due to poor weather conditions (pollinators don't like rain!).

This means that we will be resurveying gardens during a single additional visit from April 2013 onwards.

Were you a garden volunteer in 2012?

If you volunteered your garden last summer we would like to visit again in 2013.  We would like to start resurveying gardens from April onwards.  The surveys will be the same as in 2012, although this year we only need to carry out a one-off visit.

Access to gardens:

Who to contact at your local University

Your local teams will be contacting you to arrange a visit in the next few weeks, so please look out for them.  Alternatively you can get in touch with your local staff member to confirm whether you are still happy for your garden to be included in the survey.The Edinburgh team completing their last garden of 2012

University of Edinburgh

Damien Hicks
0131 650 8684

University of Bristol

Lynne Osgathorpe
0117 9545960

University of ReadingMeasuring a garden in Reading

Nadine Mitschunas
0118 3788476

University of Leeds

Mark Goddard
0113 3432884

Garden questionnaires

Finally, a big thank you to all householders who completed the garden questionnaires that were sent in November 2012. We are very grateful for your responses and we are currently entering the data ready for analyses. If you still have a questionnaire you have not yet returned it is not too late. Please send it to Mark Goddard at the University of Leeds (see address on this page). If you require a replacement questionnaire or pre-paid envelope please contact Mark and he will be happy to provide these.

Spring 2013 Newsletter

Find out about our progress so far and what we have got planned for the 2013 field season in our Urban Pollinators Project Spring 2013 Newsletter