FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Bees, Hoverflies and Flowers: Pollinators and Pollination (Bushy Park)

  • Location: London
  • Tutor: Martin Harvey
  • Date: Saturday 30 June 2018
  • Times: 10:00 - 16:00
  • Level: Beginners

Course Details

Bees, hoverflies and other pollinating insects play an enormously important role in natural habitats and agricultural systems alike. Some pollinators are known to be declining, and their conservation is a cause for concern. This course introduces the insects that play a role in pollination, helping you to recognise them, understand how they interact with flowering plants, and find out how to play your part in conserving them. Pollinating insects include some very familiar and attractive species. Many plants depend on these insects to survive, and in turn the insects depend on the plants.

Pollinators, and especially bees, have been in the news a lot in recent years. Some are known to be declining, while others are expanding their range. This course introduces a range of pollinating insects, including the variety of different bees and hoverflies: how to find them, how to recognise them and what their role is in pollination. We’ll be able to explore the rich flower meadows and hedgerows of Bushy Park. A number of projects have been set up recently to help record and conserve pollinators, and you’ll be able to find out how to take part in these.

We will:

  • Learn to distinguish some of the important insect pollinators
  • Gain an overview of the interactions between plants and insects
  • Have experience of how and where to find pollinators in the field
  • Find out where to go for further information and guidance on insect identification and conservation, and how to join in with current pollinator projects.

About the Tutor:

Martin Harvey tutors regularly for FSC and for Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an entomologist and biological recorder, working at the national Biological Records Centre (where he is involved with the national Pollinator Monitoring Scheme) and for a range of clients. Martin runs recording schemes for moths and soldierflies.


  • 09:45 – 10:00 Registration & refreshments
  • 10:00 Welcome, Health and Safety & Introduction
  • 10:20 Presentation - the main pollinator groups and how they interact with plants 11:00 Field Session - Exploring pollinators around the park. First steps at identifying insects: which group is it in and what is its natural history
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 13:30 Classroom - a closer look at the insects we found in the morning, taking identification further
  • 14:00 Field session 2 – finding more pollinators and carrying out surveys
  • 15:45 Summary - a chance to ask more questions
  • 16:00 Course finishes

Disclaimer: All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may be subject to change according to the weather, requirements of the group or access restrictions to field sites on the day of the course.

What to bring:

  • Weather-appropriate footwear and clothing, ie waterproofs and / or hats etc
  • Appropriate protection (sun cream, insect repellent)
  • Notebook and pencil
  • packed lunch

Not essential, but if you have them:

  • insect net
  • bug boxes
  • insect field guides
  • digital camera
  • binoculars (small, close-focusing ones work best).

Health and Safety:

  • There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site.
  • If you have special medical requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.
  • Please be aware that this is a Deer Park, and there can be ticks. Please consider wearing long sleeved tops and trousers, even if the weather is nice.

Meeting point / Location:

The Stockyard, Bushy Park. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/bushy-park/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-here

FSC in Bushy Park:

FSC have been working in partnership with The Royal Parks to deliver courses since 2011. In Bushy Park, our education Centre has two classrooms, toilet facilities, a small kitchen and office space. Alongside this is an area of the Park for education use, not open to members of the public. With two large meadows and grassland areas, woodland areas and three ponds, this is an exciting and inspiring space to discover more about the Park. Located near Hampton Court Palace, Bushy Park's mixture of woods, gardens, ponds and grassland makes it a fantastic place to enjoy wildlife with roaming herds of Red and Fallow Deer. The park is also home to the famous Chestnut Avenue, a formal Baroque water garden and the beautiful Diana Fountain.

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