On Thursday 16th September 2021, the LELP Environmental Education Officer was joined a group of enthusiastic Year 10 pupils and staff from St. Kevin’s College in Lisnaskea, at Crom Estate, to conduct FIT counts.
FIT counts are a part of the UK Wide Pollinator Monitoring Scheme which NIEA have joined to gather crucial data to analyse pollinator populations. Our pollinator populations are under threat and the UK Wide Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMs) aims to gather data on insects across the UK to identify changing trends in pollinator populations.
By completing a FIT count, which is a Flower-Insect Timed Count, you count all the insects that land on target flowers within a 50cm x 50cm patch during a 10-minute period, at any location. You don’t need to worry about identifying specific species, rather identify at a group level! Plus there is a helpful app to help you. FIT Counts can be done anywhere, including gardens and parks, in warm, dry weather any time from April to September.
The pupils first developed their data collection skills and techniques by gathering insects using sweep nets and bug pots and identifying different leaves and other plants using charts, before completing the fieldwork session by completing a timed FIT count each.
Many thanks to Crom Estate and the National Trust staff team for facilitating our visit, Ms Rogers, Mr Armtiage and the pupils from St. Kevin’s College, LELP and Heritage Lottery Fund NI.