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Every flower counts

On the 31 of May  University of London staff took park in the Every Flower Counts survey.

A field of wild flowers late afternoon
This year many parks have unmown areas left to rewild and encourage insect biodiversity.

Some of the University of London’s lawns took part in No Mow May to help pollinators in Bloomsbury, including our bees that reside in the hives on the roof of the IALS building and the native bees in the area.

Woburn Square and Gordon Square took part in Now Mow May and were surveyed using the Every Flower Counts survey. Here are their nectar scores according to Plantlife.

Gordon Square

Every flow Counts survey

The wildflowers, nectar and pollen count facts:

Nectar and pollen count

Woburn Square

Nectar score: 2,458.33mg of nectar sugar/4,334m2 lawn per day. With this a bumblebee could fly for 61 hours.

Pollen and nectar count for Woburn Square

Russell Square

We conducted an additional survey at Russell Square, which did not participate in Now Mow May so that we could compare the nectar scores of the lawns that were mowed and the ones that were not. We will aim to conduct the Every Flower Counts annually so that we can build a comprehensive picture of how our lawns benefit Bloomsbury’s pollinators. The nectar score for Russell Square was 6,543.34mg of nectar sugar per 15,000m2 lawn per day. With this, a bumblebee could fly for 164 hours.

Nectar and pollen count for Russell Square

How did the lawns nectar scores compare?

Lawn Woburn Square Gordon Square Russell Square
Nectar score (mg of nectar sugar/m2 of lawn/day) 0.57 4.19 0.44

While we need to collect further data, the results indicate that Gordon Square, and the pollinators that visit it, benefitted from No Mow May, while Woburn Square needs a bit more TLC. We are working with our grounds maintenance team to improve biomass and biodiversity on our lawns so that we can make life just a little bit easier for our bees and other pollinators. With pollinators in decline, they certainly need our help.

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