You are here

  1. Home
  2. eSTEeM Projects
  3. STEM engagement
  4. Flight of the Fritillary

Flight of the Fritillary

  • Project leader(s): Emma Rothero
  • Theme: STEM engagement
  • Faculty: STEM
  • Status: Archived
  • Dates: February 2012 to February 2014

The Floodplain Meadows Partnership (FMP), hosted by the Open University, has been collecting data on the rare Snakeshead fritillary plant at a National Nature Reserve (North Meadow, Cricklade, Wilts) since 1999, using volunteers. The main pollinator of the snakeshead fritillary is the bumblebee and the FMP became concerned that reported declines in bumblebee populations would have an impact on this plant. In 2012, funds were secured to expand the numbers of volunteers counting across two new sites and establish bumblebee surveys on the three sites.  The project sought to assess the degree of retention and engagement of volunteers throughout the process.

Over three years the project increased the numbers of volunteers more than three-fold through wide advertising. Annual workshops were run to enable volunteers to engage in the findings and the research process. Volunteer attendance at counts and workshops was maintained and volunteer engagement assessed through questionnaires and interviews. 

88% of volunteers who responded to the surveys thought they had improved their skills in natural history recording, and a new ecological finding has been demonstrated.

Further work is recommended to develop technology based solutions to capture plant-pollinator interactions for student and volunteer assessment.

Related Resources: 
PDF icon Emma Rothero, Flight of the Fritillary. eSTEeM final report.pdf2.04 MB

eSTEeM final report.

PDF icon Rothero Appendix 1 North Meadow interview transcripts 2012.pdf25.41 KB

Appendix 1 - North Meadow interview transcripts.

PDF icon Rothero Appendix 2 Evening Meeting of Fritillary Count Volunteers Wilts Jan 2013.pdf114.38 KB

Appendix 2 - Evening meeting of fritillary count volunteers Wiltshire Jan 2013. 

PDF icon Rothero Appendix 3 Flight of Fritillary response to questionnaires.pdf43.98 KB

Appendix 3 - Flight of the Fritillary response to questionnaires

PDF icon Rothero Appendix 4 Feedback figures from questionnaires.pdf76.94 KB

Appendix 4 - Feedback figures from questionnaires.

PDF icon Rothero, Final Frit Leaflet March 2014.pdf859.75 KB

Project leaflet.


PDF icon Emma Rothero poster.pdf132.35 KB

Project poster.