BeeWalk Covid-19 update 1st March 2021
It is essential that everyone taking part in BeeWalk follow the latest Government advice to prevent infection of themselves or others. It is important to note that regulations differ across the UK. The monitoring scheme will remain open for records throughout the field season but the exact legalities of what is permissible will vary over time, between areas, and in other ways such as land ownership. The monitoring scheme makes a valuable contribution to society and to the mental and physical well-being of those taking part, but these are exceptional times and the Government advice provides the framework by which we should direct our activities.
England and Scotland: Volunteer surveys are permitted under the exemption for ‘voluntary or charitable activities’ (England) and ‘voluntary and charitable services’ (Scotland), enabling monitoring activities to continue.
Wales: Our understanding is that members of the public are currently only permitted to leave their homes or travel for essential purposes, and that none of the specified exemptions pertain to volunteer survey activities. Therefore, we currently recommend that BeeWalks in Wales should only be undertaken if they are on your own land.
If you are in a location of heightened risk (such as active testing for new variant) please exercise extreme caution.
For your own benefit, both in terms of disease transmission and avoiding receipt of sanctions from authorities, we urge volunteers to carefully assess the risks posed by their fieldwork and to minimise travel and group sizes even in countries where these aspects of fieldwork may not technically be constrained by the legislation. If you are stopped and queried regarding your activities, advise you are a volunteer undertaking a wildlife survey and refer them to www.beewalk.org.uk
The health of our BeeWalkers is very important to us, as are our relationships with the landowners who generously allow us onto their land. No-one should feel under pressure to carry out fieldwork if they do not feel comfortable doing so, or if they are concerned it may negatively impact relationships with landowners or other members of the public and local communities. Please be sensitive to the feelings of landowners and your impact on local communities at this time. As with all fieldwork, please ensure that you have appropriate landowner permission to visit.
Want to join BeeWalk? Register here!
Can you help us find our bumblebees? Bumblebees have been declining across the country, and to better understand why and target our conservation efforts, we need data on where we can find the remaining bees and how many there are.
BeeWalk is a national recording scheme run by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to monitor the abundance of bumblebees on transects across the country. These transects would be impossible without volunteers, who identify and count the bumblebees they see on a monthly walk along a set route from March to October. Anyone can become a BeeWalker – all you need is some basic identification knowledge and a spare hour or so every month to walk a fixed route of about a mile (you choose where it goes), and submit your sightings.