Campus Pollinator Plan Actions
A: Identify and protect existing areas that are good for pollinators
- The main areas providing floral resources/nesting potential are shown on the map below. These floral resources include native and non-native flowering trees and shrubs as well as herbs. There are other areas, e.g. at Trinity Hall and the Trinity Botanic Gardens in Dartry, which are also currently pollinator-friendly, and these habitats should be maintained.
TCD main campus with areas of floral resources highlighted.
- These areas provide a diversity of flowering resources throughout the season (March to October), to provide pollen and nectar for a range of flower-visiting insects.
- ACTION: maintain and increase diversity of floral resources on Campus
B: Reduce the frequency of mowing of grassy areas
- In some areas, for example, the Flat Iron and the Ecology Bank, this is already occurring. Other potential areas to do this potentially include at the base of trees, along the edges of buildings, fences and squares, and possibly in a small area on the edge of the cricket pitch/in front of the Moyne. Areas where reduced mowing could be undertaken will need to be chosen with care and clearly signposted as allowing the grounds to appear unkempt would have a negative impact on the public’s perception of the campus.
- ACTION: signs have been added which explain why some areas are not mown
C: Pollinator friendly planting
- Existing resources can be augmented, particularly with native, but also with some non-native flowering plants. Perennials are a great source of pollen and nectar for a range of pollinating insects. See suggestions in the AIPP guidelines “Gardens: actions to help pollinators”
- A range of species which flower throughout the year (March to October) and a diversity of floral resources at any one point in time are required.
- The new garden outside Botany has several pollinator-friendly plants, although some additional early May flowering might be needed. Planting some of the early-flowering shrubs from the AIPP guidelines may be a quick and easy way to fill this “hunger gap” for insects (e.g. Broom, Berberis, Viburnum, Willows or pollinator-friendly bulbs).
- Other areas which are currently being planted with pollinator-friendly plants include the Provosts Garden.
- WARNING: although “seed bombing” is sometimes used for restoration of floral resources, we do not advocate this approach on Campus, due to potential problems with introduction of non-native, potentially invasive weeds, and because the Campus is maintained carefully by Trinity grounds staff.
- ACTION: prioritise pollinator-friendly planting wherever possible
Floral resources outside Botany Building and "Hunger gap” (Image on the right) during May when plants outside Botany Building are not yet in flower
D: Pollinator nesting habitat
- Areas of long grass (including the Flat Iron and Ecology Bank) may provide sites for bumblebees to nest and should be left undisturbed until late summer.
- There is a bare earthbank on the edge of the cricket pitch (Nassau St edge) which has provided habitat for a nesting aggregation of solitary bees in the past. Some of this area should be kept bare of vegetation to encourage future nesting.
Bare earth suitable for ground-nesting solitary bees.
- Provide nest sites for solitary bees: six bee hotels will be placed on campus (Flat-iron, Provost garden and botanic gardens in Dartry).
- Further guidelines on providing nesting sites are available on the AIPP website
- ACTION: retain wild bee nesting sites in long grass and earth banks; install and maintain bee hotels
E: Reduce use of pesticides
- Reduce with the aim of eliminating the use of insecticides on Campus.
- Reduce use of herbicides (except for maintenance of sports pitches). If possible, and when staff resources allow, employ hand weeding, leave weeds to flower, or employ some other cultural control measure.
- ACTION: reduce chemical use across Campus
F: Raise awareness
- Install solitary bee nest boxes (although not necessarily very effective as a conservation tool, a good visual communication tool) (see D above).
- ACTION: ensure wide communication of activities across College
G: Track efforts: