Find it in Fermanagh – FIT Counts

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During July and August we are encouraging you to get outside in Fermanagh and discover a local species!

This week we are raising awareness of the UK Wide Pollinator Monitoring Scheme! NIEA have joined the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme to gather crucial data to analyse pollinator populations and they need 10 minutes of your time to help!

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.

Check out these 10 steps to complete a FIT Count:

Ten steps to carrying out a FIT Count

Download a recording form and any guidance documents from the above links, or use the FIT Count app.

  1. FIT Counts take about 10–15 minutes, during which you are asked to count every insect that lands on the flowers of your chosen target flower species.
  2. You can complete a FIT Count in good weather between 1 April and 30 September.
  3. “Good weather” is dry, and with temperature at least 13°C in sunny conditions, or at least 15°C when cloudy.
  4. Choose just one type of flower as your target flower – where possible use one of the FIT Count target flowers, but if you can’t find one from the list you can choose a different flower as the target.
  5. Mark out a 50 × 50 cm patch containing your target.
  6. Count the number of individual flowers for your target species that are within your patch.
  7. Set a timer for ten minutes, and count all insects that land on the target flowers (ignore other flowers, and do your best to count each individual insect once only!).
  8. Identify the insects into their broad groups (bumblebees, hoverflies etc.) – any that you don’t recognise should be counted as “other insects”.
  9. Fill in some simple weather details.
  10. Don’t forget to send in your results via our enter FIT Counts form or app.

All the information you need can be found on the PoMS website FIT Counts page

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This event is free, suitable for all ages and must be booked via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/operation-duck-tunnel-tour-of-devenish-wildfowlers-conservation-project-tickets-170408361998.

Join us on Saturday 18th September as we celebrate the skills that were once common place in The Lough Erne region at the Lough Erne Heritage Festival at Enniskillen Castle. Supported by @enniskillenBID @HeritageFundNI @FestErne @loveheritageNI https://lelp.org.uk/lough-erne-heritage-festival/

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