The UK’s pollinators need your help. Did you know that a recent study has found that 46% of European bumblebee species are in decline, with 24% at risk of extinction, and that we have already lost 23 bee and flower-visiting wasp species in Britain? Habitat loss and changes in the way we use our landscape have meant that many insects struggle to find the food and shelter they need. Without pollinators, where would we be? They are crucial for the production of food – in fact it’s estimated that pollinators contribute £1.8bn to the UK’s farming economy every year by performing their normal pollination service. That’s nature working for us in a big way! So now that you know why you should care about the small, the winged and the creepy-crawly wildlife, how can you help? Pollinating insects need two things in order to thrive:
Food – nectar and pollen
Shelter – such as log piles, thick vegetation and untidy areas
Your garden is the perfect place for insects to find these two crucial ingredients. It’s part of a huge network of 15 million gardens that criss-cross the UK. (smallhandsbigart.com) Put all together they cover 667,000 acres – an area seven times the size of the Isle of Wight! Think of the difference this could make for nature if each was cared for in a wildlife-friendly way.
You might already be familiar with bees and butterflies, but did you know that many flies, beetles, moths and bugs are also important pollinators? By planting nectar-rich flowers or building/buying a bug hotel, you will also be helping to protect countless lesser known insects, not to mention the birds, mammals and other animals that feed on them.
Spending moonlight hours in the garden can bring exciting encounters with some of our best-looking pollinators. Start by luring in some interesting species! Plant night-scented flowers – evening primrose, tobacco plant and honeysuckle are often regarded as the best. Their long, tubular flowers are perfect for moths with long tongues which can reach inside to sip up their nectar.
We have a wonderful selection of pollinating plants for you to choose from, along with some expert advice and recommendations from our helpful team. Why not visit our flower filled Celebration Garden for some added inspiration?