PoMS takes off in Northern Ireland

Following a successful pilot project in 2021, this year Northern Ireland has implemented both PoMS, surveys, enabling us to achieve full UK coverage. During National Insect Week in June 2022, volunteers for the 20 new 1 km squares gathered together to learn more about how to carry out the surveys. In this blog, Pauline Campbell (DAERA) gives her account of the day.

Thistles support wildlife from stem to seed

As we move through summer, thistles can be among the most abundant flowers in some areas. That could be from thick beds of Creeping Thistle in wasteland or field margins, or Spear Thistle with its attractive deep purple flowers. In this blog, Rob Jaques, Garden BirdWatch Supporter Development Officer at the British Trust for Ornithology, discusses their variety and value for insects and birds alike.

Buttercups' glow attracts insects (and people)!

Holding a buttercup up to your chin has been said to show whether you like butter or not – lighting up your skin if you do. This evolutionary feat is a feature of Buttercup's petals, a trick of the light designed to catch the eye. FIT Counts show that this strategy works just as well for insects as it does for people, with 738 counts completed on Buttercups from 2017 to 2020 - the greatest number of FIT counts for a target flower!