Resiliant Pollinators: Modelling Landscapes for Resilient Pollination Services in the UK





Project overview

Bees and other insect pollinators are major contributors to UK crop agriculture, underpinning approximately half a billion pounds of crop production annually. Despite their importance to crop production, pollinator populations are threatened by many modern land management and agricultural practices. This raises questions about how secure this service may be to future changes: will we have enough pollinators where we need them? Will we have the right insects for the right crops as our tastes change? Will populations be able to withstand changes to the way we manage land? What might be the costs to us, both in money and socially, if we get it wrong?

The Resilient Pollinators project brings together a team of researchers and stakeholders from across the scientific spectrum to address these issues. By using the best available data and new modelling methods, the project will, for the first time, give an estimate of how stable populations of pollinating insects are across the UK. From this we will be able to estimate the monetary value that pollinators provide us now at a very local level. We will also highlight those parts of the country which may not have enough pollinators or may have more than they need. The project will also engage in ground-breaking social science to explore how changes to the landscape that can have an impact on pollinating insects, such as reducing the availability of flowers and hedges, affect the way we value the landscape from a personal and cultural perspective.

Working alongside key government and industrial partners, we will bring these ecological, economic and social elements together to consider what the future of UK agriculture may look like: Which crops will we grow? Which regions will we be able to grow them in as the climate changes? How will we manage our countryside for wildlife? Using these future scenarios, we will complete the project by exploring what these changes might mean for UK agriculture, allowing us to make appropriate plans and safeguard against future losses.

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