Government-sponsored survey of pollinators praised by green groups

A pollinator population project, soft launched in the summer with funding from DEFRA, is being heralded as a big step forward for vulnerable insects

Bees and hoverflies are in decline. Photograph: WangAizhong/123RFA project to gather data on pollinator populations in the UK has begun, following lobbying from conservation groups and the farming industry.

The study is part of the National Pollinator Strategy launched by DEFRA in 2014. Current data on populations of pollinators such as bees and hoverflies in the UK consists of records submitted by volunteer recorders, which are not sufficiently structured and provide no information on abundance, population size or pollination service, and have gaps in geographical coverage, according to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), which is running the project.

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