Why pollinators are important
A pollinator is an animal that helps carry pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) to the female part of the same or another flower (stigma). The movement of pollen must occur for a plant to become fertilized and produce fruits, seeds, and young plants. Pollinators are vital for food production and biodiversity.
Globally, there is evidence that shows pollinators are in decline. The reduction in the number of pollinating insects has resulted in an 8% decline in the number of birds across the UK since 1970. It is thought the decline in our pollinators is due to a number of factors including:
- loss of habitat
- chemical misuse
- introduced and invasive plants
- introduced and invasive animals
- diseases and parasites
About the Pollinator Project
The Pollinator Project was originally setup as a Société Guernesiaise initiative by Barry Wells and Vanessa Crispini-Adams in Guernsey in 2017. The project really captured the imagination of delegates during last year’s
Inter-Island Environment Meeting (IIEM), the theme of which was environmental partnership. Following the IIEM it was decided that the Pollinator Project was such a fantastic initiative that it should become a Channel Island project and be rolled out across the islands.
Several organisations and interested parties have come together, in partnership, to bring the Pollinator Project to Jersey in 2019. Organisations involved so far includes:
- Government Of Jersey
- Jersey Bee Keepers’ Association
- Jersey Biodiversity Centre
- Jersey Trees For Life
- National Trust For Jersey
- Natural Jersey
- Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society
- Societe Jersiaise
- The Good Jersey Life
Guernsey Pollinator Project website to read about the aims of the project and how you can get involved.
Our aspirational targets for 2019
Over 2019 we aim to:
- create 8 pollinator patches in Jersey school sites
- have 50 householders who have set aside 10% of their garden specifically for pollinators
- create 10 pollinator patches in community spaces
- have 10 businesses who have encouraged pollinators onto their land
- increase the number of insects records held at the Jersey Biodiversity Centre
- monitor key spaces in Jersey for pollinators so that we have accurate date
To find out more or to get involved visit the
PollinatorProject.je website or email
Creating a wildflower patch for pollinators
Creating your own pollinator patch isn't difficult and can be adapted to suit whatever space you have. Wildflowers are suited to many different spaces but they do need sunshine so avoid shady areas. You can transform lawns and grass areas to be pollinator friendly zones and the beauty is they need very little maintenance. You can also upcycle containers to bring colour and wildlife to even the most urban of environments.
You will need:
- 2 to 3g of seeds for each square meter
- garden fork or spade
- a rake
- watering can
- something to label your patch so you don't forget where you've sown your seeds
Follow these steps to create your wildflower patch
- Dig over the soil with a fork or spade breaking up any large clumps.
- Remove weeds so the wildflowers don't have any competition.
- Rake the soil so it's fine and crumbly, remove any large stones.
- Leave your prepared soil for about two weeks so any dormant weeds or grasses that come to life can be removed before you sow your seeds.
- Scatter your wildflower seeds over the soil by hand, a little at a time for an even spread.
Top tip: to make spreading easier, mix seeds with a small amount of dry play sand so you can see where you've sown them.
- Gently rake the soil again to just cover the seeds with a very thin layer (1mm) of fine crumbly soil. Remember that seeds need sunlight, so be careful not to bury them too deep or they won't grow.
- Water the whole area very gently, taking care not to wash your seeds away.
- Label the area with your plant markers and don't forget to include the sowing date.
- Water the patch regularly, twice a week and possibly more in hot weather, after sowing and while the seedlings are establishing.
Gardening with pollinating plants
If you don't want a 'wild' garden there are lots of species of flowers that are suited to domestic gardens. There is a list of perennial plants and bulbs that can be downloaded from the pollinator project website. These plants are fantastic for pollinators and will bring colour and structure to your garden, they are available in most garden centres.