Pollinator protection

Making a difference locally in our gardens

Are we living in a society where we expect governments to do everything and to resolve every problem? How about turning that idea round and starting locally to take back some control where we can?

We could make a start by taking control of what happens in our own gardens, whether that’s a large plot or a window box. That might seem small scale, but in England 4% of all land cover (564,500 hectares) is urban and rural gardens. So what we chose to grow in them, and how we do that, can make a massive difference to the soil, to wild life and especially to the declining numbers of pollinators.

Mike and Sue Wright’s beautiful garden is a haven for wildlife, with flowers that bloom throughout the growing season so that there is always nectar and pollen available to pollinators. They were prize winners in the Blooming Mold competition last year.

Pollination is important because it sustains our ecosystems and produces our natural resources. It leads to the production of what we eat – every three bites of our food – and also seeds to grow future plants. Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals can pollinate plants. Pollinators are necessary for three-quarters of our major food crops.

But pollinator populations are declining due to habitat destruction, extreme weather patterns, along with the use of chemicals. That’s why taking control of how we garden can make such a difference in helping to reverse these troubling trends.

Bamboo canes provide a simple habitat for non-swarming solitary bees

Gardening for pollinators:

  1. flowers that bloom all season so nectar and pollen are available
  2. nesting habitats – a bit untidy is fine!
  3. have some water available
  4. a refuge from pesticide / chemicals
  5. native plants and cover for wild life
  6. protect your priceless top soil.

    Mining bee (colletes cunicularis) at Talacre, photo courtesy FCC

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