22nd Feb, 2019

Butterfly Conservation urges gardeners to help nation's wildlife

Emily Fish 2nd Jun, 2017

A WILDLIFE charity is calling on gardeners to help the nation’s butterflies, bees and moths by making their county more pollinator-friendly.

The Butterfly Conservation is urging nature lovers to take part in their ‘Plant Pot for Pollinators’ campaign and provide nectar sources for pollinating insects in outdoor spaces.

Through the campaign, the conservation wants to discover which county is home to the most butterfly-friendly gardens – following concerns which suggest butterflies are declining faster in urban areas than in the countryside.

The project, sponsored by retailer B&Q, encourages householders to plant a pot with nectar sources such as Shasta Daisy, Cosmos and Catmint.

Just one pot in each of the UK’s estimated 24 million gardens will provide pollinators with an important source of food and shelter.

Participating nature lovers can plot the location of their pot on the Plant Pots for Pollinators website and help reveal the most pollinator friendly county in the UK.

Urban gardens act as important refuges for pollinators, but these insects are increasingly under threat from habitat loss, agricultural intensification and climate change.

Former widespread garden species, such as Small Tortoiseshell and Garden Tiger moth, have seen their numbers plummet.

Therefore, the charity is encouraging gardeners to plant flowers such as French Marigold, Calendula and Dahlia, as they provide food for butterflies such as Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Peacock.

Meanwhile, Thyme and Lavender plants attract species of bees and other pollinating insects.

Pollinating insects are essential for the fertilisation of many crops, including fruit, seeds and oils as well as many plants, trees and wild flowers.

Butterfly Conservation ambassador and wildlife gardening writer Kate Bradbury said: “Many butterflies will travel far and wide for a good meal, and you don’t need a big garden to lure them in.

“A simple pot of Lavender or Buddleia on the doorstep can do the trick, and a well-planted window box can be a butterfly magnet.

“And don’t forget moths – stepping outside at night and watching moths buzz around your flowers is a magical experience.”

Rachel Bradley, B&Q’s sustainability manager added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Butterfly Conservation for a second year as part of our commitment to supporting Britain’s wildlife.

“Last month we launched the Nature of Gardens report which found that 64 per cent of people were concerned about wildlife in Britain and 63 per cent believed there was a benefit in bringing wildlife closer to home, but many felt lack of space was a barrier to helping.”

The Butterfly Conservation scheme runs throughout the summer.

To take part visit www.plantpotsforpollinators.org

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