FruitWatch: Citizen Science in the Orchard

Yesterday I spotted this tweet from the University of Reading:

Looks interesting, doesn’t it? There’s more information on the project, a PhD study run by Chris Wyver, Dr. Deepa Senapathi and Prof. Simon Potts, via @FruitWatch and the main FruitWatch.org website. where we’re told that:

“Fruit trees are highly dependent on insect pollination to produce fruit, and climate change is impacting both the timing of fruit tree flowering and pollinator flight, which could reduce pollination and fruit production. We need your help to understand how fruit trees are changing flowering dates across the UK, and with your help we are gathering data on four common fruits, Apple, Pear, Plum (including Damson and Greengage), and Cherry.”

The website seems to have been designed to make it easy to use on a mobile device, which means you can submit your reports, location information and photos of flowering fruit trees on the spot.

It all sounds like an interesting and worthwhile project to me and I’ll certainly be trying to remember to join in as and when I start spotting blossom break in the heritage orchard at Ordsall Hall, on the Plot #79 orchard, and the Plot #59 cordon and stepover trees.

If you’d like to join in as well, take a look, bookmark the Submit a Result page and then keep an eye out for those first hints of fruit blossom.

Orchardists of the UK, to your smartphones. Let’s do Citizen Science!

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