The Pollinator Network initiative (PNi) is a network of farmers and land managers who are committed to ensuring a rich biodiversity on their territories. Created in 2010 in collaboration with Friends of the Countryside (FCS), PNi encourages the creation of habitats for pollinating insects
One major tool is the use of field margins, which have the potential to provide multiple benefits both for agribusiness and the environment. Different types of field margins are implemented, including establishing grass trips, beetle banks, sowing wildflower mixes for insects, and introducing sources of seed for farm birds. These increase the quality of the environment for numerous species, but are also beneficial for the landowner who will witness an improvement in the soil quality linked to the presence of earthworm population and activity, a reduction of flood risks, and a reduction of soil erosion and linkage. Research shows that if pollination is managed well on small diverse farms, with all other factors being equal, crop yields can increase by a significant median of 24%.
ELO, together with Wildlife Estates (WE), has continued its efforts in 2019 to raise awareness about the benefits of multifunctional field margins for farm biodiversity. It has been supporting the work of DG Environment on the elaboration of the EU pollinator initiative adopted 1 June 2018. It is setting strategic objectives and actions to be taken by EU and its Member States.
ELO, while already active in the sector decided to increase its action on research and knowledge. ELO, in collaboration with Butterfly Conservation Europe (BCE), launched a series of training for landowners on butterfly data collection. These volunteers will collect data on a regular basis in order to provide data for an app on specific species.