Researchers are calling on Brits to keep an eye on their plums as markers of climate change.
A new website has been launched by the University of Reading and Oracle for Research where the public can record their findings on plum and cherry trees near them to distinguish whether they are flowering early due to the impacts of climate change.
The University of Cambridge released a report last month revealing that plants are flowering a month earlier than average due to human-induced climate change.
This new study is looking to uncover this impact on fruit and the wider implications on insects and wildlife.
Fruit trees rely on insect pollination to grow their fruits, however, insects are now out of sync with when plants are flowering and fruits may suffer as a result.
That’s why the researchers are asking the public to take action to help understand the impacts.
Lead of the study, Chris Wyver, explained: “We need members of the public to go out into gardens, allotments, orchards or parks and tell us what they see.
“We want as many eyes on as many trees as possible to tell us if climate change really is having an impact on fruit tree pollination. If it is, then action will be required to prevent a potentially significant impact on fruit production.
“Pollinators and fruit trees falling out of sync could mean supply issues and more expensive and lower-quality fruit. Pollinators do an incredible job for the planet and if insects are unable to pollinate fruit trees, then something else will have to – potentially humans.”