Join the Buzz: Planting for Pollinators this Spring

Join the Buzz: Planting for Pollinators this Spring

Is there anything an eco-warrior loves more than saving the bees? It’s definitely up there with the heady heights of sorting the recycling (ooh) and the sweet satisfaction of remembering to bring your keep cup to the coffee shop (ahh). As more plants begin to bloom in the mild April weather, it’s time to ask, “why are pollinators important?” and “am I doing enough to help them?”.

Did you know, for example, that pollinators are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food? That’s right! Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles and other pollinators are vital to agriculture, contributing over £600 million per annum to the UK economy (2015). But, if we know how valuable they are, why do pollinators even need our help? To answer that question, you need to hop into your local time-travelling DeLorean and head back to rural Britain after the Second World War…

In the late 1940s–60s, there was a post-war agricultural boom in the UK and this (combined with a huge increase in pesticides) has led to a 97% loss in our native flower meadows. Habitat loss is the main driver of decline in bumblebee numbers, so here’s how you can help local pollinators this springtime.

Tip 1: Hello No Mow

Instead of doing something to help our bees, how about doing nothing at all? Join in with #NoMowMay by not mowing your garden lawn and enjoy the natural wildflower blooms!

Tip 2: A Room with a View

Introduce bee and bug hotels to your garden to provide a habitat for solitary bees! You can build your own with leftover materials, but make sure it faces south… they’re very particular.

Tip 3: To Me To You

Swap out non-native plants for pollinator-friendly alternatives in communal areas like parks and bus stops – they are perfect for our hungry pollinator pals!

Tip 4: Go Organic

2024 is the year to ditch nasty pesticides and herbicides in your garden! There’s plenty of ways to get an abundant veggie harvest without those icky chemicals.

Tip 5: Plant for pollinators

Our favourite way to save the bees is to plant beautiful native wildflowers in our green spaces. Check out these British seed packets that are great for local biodiversity!

There’s nothing stopping you from embracing flower power this spring! You can plant these beautiful blooms in your shady and sunny areas:

Flowering in spring (shady area): comfrey, hellebore, winter heather, lungwort.

Flowering in spring (sunny area): crocus, dicentra, pieris, California lilac.

Flowering in summer (shady area): borage, monkshood, wild strawberry, aquilegia.

Flowering in summer (sunny area): lavender, foxglove, geranium, viper’s bugloss.

Flowering in autumn (shady area): ground ivy, catmint, mahonia.

Flowering in autumn (sunny area): cosmos, honeysuckle, sunflower, verbena.


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