Pollen counts

4 thoughts on “Pollen counts”

  1. Hi Rob.
    Thanks for chairing with a firm but fair hand. Where is the golden key to turn our wealth of knowledge into better on farm delivery?
    Are we short of training, intensive or the basic understanding of why increasing farmland pollinators is so important?
    Farmers are facing challenging times so unless someone sells the importance of pollinators, more urgent and pressing issues will focus the farmer’s mind. Farmers have become hardened to environmental woes and apportioning blame, so maybe think things are not as bad as many make out?
    35 years of appropriate, quality on-farm habitat creation has never failed to increase pollinators. Help from the TV would not go a miss. Africa’s wildlife may be good for viewing ratings but surely UK wildlife is a more worthy and immediate cause.
    All have a role to play in every aspect of wildlife appreciation and education. Farmers need help and encouragement to feed us and protect our wildlife so let’s all work on this together and put our wealth of knowledge to good use.

  2. Hi Rob

    Just a little plug for what we are trying to do at the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE), on a relative shoe string. It isn’t perfect, but we are trying to find common ground between farming and biodiversity NGOs. So we approach things from the farmer perspective, and aim to integrate voluntary environmental management alongside a productive farm business.

    CFE has always been about the whole farm, and good practice to manage the farm for biodiversity, soil and water – alongside a productive business. CFE partners did agree to produce pollinator guidance (including a general guide for farmers, and further guidance on hedge management) and we ran a set of pollinator events this summer (where Marek’s book went down very well!!). As well as promoting some subsidised seed mixes. Plus, I’d encourage everyone to test your pollinator knowledge with the CFE Online Training Module http://www.cfeonline.org.uk/advice-and-training/online-training-module/

  3. The focus really needs to be on finding out exactly what is happening to our pollinators. A robust scientific ( properly funded) scheme will help all concerned to find solutions to reversing the declines. There is really good work already going on with farmers and landowners and I believe there is a willingness and imperative, dare I say enthusiasm to help pollinators across society. We should use that current momentum to best advantage by advertising all the best practice as widely as possible and the NGOs working together to produce easy to follow guidance for farmers and landowners- more joined up. The 2020 group is a very good example, the new website http://www.pollinatorexchange.org/ is another. Its not all about the farmers and landowners, but all of us as consumers have a part to play.

  4. Hi Rob
    Good to see a report of this event. We don’t see banning neonics as a paneca, but we do think it’s an essential part of a strategy to reverse bee decline (and we can hardly be accused of not campaigning against climate change or habitat loss!).

    I think your wording “confusing research” around neonics gives the impression that Penelope Whitehorn’s blog is making that case. It isn’t.
    She states: “It’s tempting – even essential – to note that it’s in the interests of the chemical companies that decision-makers should remain confused, and that clear findings should be made opaque. And it’s natural that farmers in particular, faced with warnings of major economic losses and crop failure, tend to be very cautious. But it really isn’t possible to hide behind the science anymore – the evidence is in and it is clear; neonics are causing massive harm to species that we all depend upon.”

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