X-Polli:Nation is an actionable citizen science project designed to create awareness of environmental issues that surround pollinating insects, collect data on their feeding preferences for science, plant habitats to support them and finds novel ways to communicate their importance with a wider community.
Who can take part?
We warmly welcome everyone to get involved in the activities. These free online and downloadable resources are particularly designed to be engaging and informative for primary and secondary age students as well for teachers, parents or anyone else who would like to support pollinators on their patch. Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours to delve into the world of pollinator citizen science, want to be desk based or out in nature, we have a full programme of activities around the citizen science cycle below.
We would love to hear about your activities so please do follow us on Twitter (@XPolliProject) and Instagram (@XPolliProject) and share your lavish learning, resplendent recording, magnificent meadows and compelling communication using #XPolli.
Click on a tab below to learn more.
Quick Links to resources
Discover how to identify pollinator species through our interactive AI-enhanced species identification keys, what plants attract and support different species of pollinators throughout the season, or browse our free learning materials on Pollinators, Pollination and Citizen Science hosted on the Open University’s OpenLearn platform.
Browse our free course materials on Pollinator Friendly Gardening Practices on the OU’s OpenLearn Create Platform, or use our interactive tool to discover which plants attract which pollinators.
You can purchase ready-made butterfly mixes (butterfly seedball), bee mixes (urban seedball) and all-pollinator (oddball) seed mixes from several sources, including SeedBall.
The X-Polli:Nation project allows you to submit pollinator data in two ways.
- A structured survey developed in collaboration with the UK Pollinator Monitoring scheme (PoMS) and following the structure of their FIT count. This requires you to spare ten minutes to sit and watch insects and flowers in a particular spot. When you undertake our survey, your data will be shared with PoMS.
- A photo-record of a bumblebee to our dedicated recording scheme Planting for Pollinators, where you will be guided by technology to help identify the species.
Data will be submitted through our sister site for biological recording: Plantingforpollinators.org, also hosted on Open University servers, and shared with PoMS.
Submit your data
If you have already done a timed pollinator survey or taken a photo of a bumblebee you want to submit, you can follow these links (These will be available from April 9 2021).
- You will need to register on the X-Polli:Nation Planting for Pollinators website to upload data.
- You can create a single shared account for your school or you class.
Prepare to conduct a pollinator survey
Here you can find a printable recording sheet with instructions to take outside for your survey, and illustrated cards about habitats, plants and pollinator groups.
- Habitat, Plant and Pollinator Identification Guide (PDF, 1.6MB)
Illustrated cards to help identify the habitats, plants and pollinators you find.
Make a polli-promise
Make a pledge for pollinators. The Pollinator Promise was started by pupils at St. Alban’s Primary Church of England Primary School in Havant. They asked their parents, friends, local businesses and community groups to sign up to plant a pot or put aside a 1 x 1 metre area in their garden, school grounds or business to grow pollinator-friendly plants. These plants provide food and shelter for pollinating insects.
Follow us on Twitter (@XPolliProject) and share your magnificent meadows and productive pots using #XPolli and @insidenatgeo