Would you like to attract more pollinators to your garden? If you do, look out for plants displaying the Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme logo at the Botanic Garden’s Y Pot Blodyn Garden Centre and in other garden centres and specialist nurseries across Wales.
Flower visiting insects are vital pollinators of the food we eat and their dramatic decline and loss of health is a major cause for concern. Pollinators are diverse, including bumblebees, hoverflies, solitary bees, butterflies and honeybees. The loss of flower-rich habitat, climate change and pesticide use has had a major impact on both our wild and managed pollinators.
How can I help?
Gardens can provide a rich larder of nectar and pollen for pollinating insects, but which are the best plants?
Current lists of pollinator plants are often not backed up by scientific data. What’s more, some plants sold in garden centres can contain residues of synthetic insecticides that harm pollinating insects. Many are also grown using peat dug from rapidly declining, ecologically-rich peatlands.
To tackle this ethical dilemma, the Growing the Future project at the National Botanic Garden of Wales has developed a Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme.
Plants displaying our Saving Pollinators logo are:
- proven to support pollinators by the Botanic Garden’s research scientists
- grown without the use of synthetic insecticides and peat compost
- produced by Wales-based growers
Synthetic insecticide-free, peat-free
Buying plants grown without synthetic insecticides will help to prevent pollinator declines and will also benefit insect-eating wildlife such as hedgehogs, sparrows and frogs.
Peat extraction continues to destroy vast areas of an endangered ecosystem. Taking centuries to form, peatlands provide a unique natural habitat for many endangered species. They help to prevent flooding by absorbing rainwater and prevent further climate change by storing away carbon. Quality peat-free composts are now widely available, including in the Botanic Garden’s Y Pot Blodyn Plant Sales. So why not make the switch?
By analysing the pollen from the bodies of pollinators and from samples of honey, National Botanic Garden of Wales scientists are using DNA barcoding to investigate which plants honeybees, hoverflies, bumblebees and solitary bees visit. This new knowledge is helping gardeners like you to conserve pollinating insects – the Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme is backed-up by evidence from this cutting-edge research.
The Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme has been made possible through Growing the Future, a five-year project supporting horticulture within Wales.