Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy assured plants?

Assured plants are available in the Botanic Garden’s Y Pot Blodyn Garden Centre and in other garden centres and specialist nurseries across Wales. Our ‘Meet the Grower’ webpage provides information about each participating nursery. Check with each nursery for their current stock of Saving Pollinators plants as not all plants are assured.

How does the scheme work?

To be eligible for the scheme, plants need be grown without the use of peat or synthetic insecticides, synthetic molluscicides and synthetic fungicides. If bought-in plant material like seeds, bulbs or plug plants are used to produce assured plants, the bought-in material needs to have been organically grown. Each participating nursery has signed a declaration agreeing that only plants grown to these standards will display the Saving Pollinators logo – not all plants at every nursery are assured, so check for the availability of assured plants with each nursery. Staff from the National Botanic Garden of Wales conduct nursery visits and are in close contact with each nursery to develop good relationships. Nurseries supply stock lists that are reviewed by scientists from the National Botanic Garden of Wales to see which plants are eligible for the scheme by being proven by scientific research to support pollinators.

Where can I find information on the scientific research?

To find out more on the Garden’s world-leading scientific research, please visit here.

The scheme is backed-up by research published in scientific papers.

Papers from the National Botanic Garden of Wales

Lucas A, Bodger O, Brosi BJ, Ford CR, Forman DW, Greig C, Hegarty M, Neyland PJ & de Vere N (2018) Generalisation and specialisation in hoverfly (Syrphidae) grassland pollen transport networks revealed by DNA metabarcoding. Journal of Animal Ecology, 87(4), 1008-1021.

Lucas A, Bodger O, Brosi BJ, Ford CR, Forman DW, Greig C, Hegarty M, Jones LE, Neyland PJ & de Vere N (2018) Floral resource partitioning by individuals within generalised hoverfly pollination networks revealed by DNA metabarcoding. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 5133.

Lucas A, Bull JC, de Vere N, Neyland PJ & Forman DW (2017) Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in semi-natural and agricultural grasslands. Ecology and Evolution. 7(19), 8073-8086.

de Vere N, Jones LE, Gilmore T, Moscrop J, Lowe A, Smith D, Hegarty M, Creer S & Ford CR (2017) Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate honeybee foraging reveals limited flower use despite high floral availability. Scientific Reports 7, 42838. 

Deiner K, Bik HM, Mächler E, Seymour M, Lacoursière-Roussel A, Altermatt F, Creer S, Bista I, Lodge DM, de Vere N, Pfrender ME & Bernatchez L (2017) Environmental DNA metabarcoding: Transforming how we survey animal and plant communities. Molecular Ecology. 26(21) 5872-5895.

Bell KL, de Vere N, Keller A, Richardson R, Gous A, Burgess K & Brosi BJ (2016) Pollen DNA barcoding: current applications and future prospects. Genome 59 (9): 629-640.

Hawkins J, de Vere N, Griffith A, Ford CR, Allainguillaume J, Hegarty MJ, Baillie L & Adams-Groom B (2015) Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey: A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0134735.

de Vere N; Rich T; Trinder SA & Long C (2015) DNA barcoding for plants. In Plant Genotyping: Methods and Protocols. Editor: Batley, J. Humana Press, New York.

de Vere N; Rich TCG; Ford, CR; Trinder SA, Long C, Moore CW, Satterthwaite D, Davies H, Allainguillaume J, Ronca S, Tatarinova T, Garbett H, Walker K and Wilkinson MJ (2012) DNA barcoding the native flowering plants and conifers of Wales. PLoS ONE 7(6): e37945

Other Research:

Goulson, D., Croombs, A. & Thompson, J., 2018. Rapid rise in toxic load for bees revealed by analysis of pesticide use in Great Britain. PEERJ 6:e5255

Lentola, A., David, A., Abdul-Sada, A., Tapparo, A., Goulson, D. and Hill, E.M. (2017). Ornamental plants on sale to the public are a significant source of pesticide residues with implications for the health of pollinating insects. Environmental Pollution [Online] 228:297–304.

Garbuzov, M., Alton, K. and Ratnieks, F.L.W. (2017). Most ornamental plants on sale in garden centres are unattractive to flower-visiting insects. PeerJ [Online] 5:e3066.

Garbuzov, M. and Ratnieks, F.L.W. (2014). Listmania: The strengths and weaknesses of lists of garden plants to help pollinators. BioScience 64:1019–1026.

Goulson, D. 2013. An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid insecticides. JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY 50: 977-987

Where else can I buy sustainably grown plants?

Information on suppliers of organically grown plants and seeds can be found on the following websites:

Information on suppliers of peat-free plants can be found on the following websites:

How can I garden in a pollinator-friendly way?

Download our handy ‘Gardening for Pollinators’ booklet here.

My nursery is interested in join the scheme. How do I join?

If you are a nursery grower selling plants to the public in the UK and are interested in participating in the Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme, please register your interest by emailing:

The Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme has been made possible through Growing the Future, a five-year project supporting horticulture within Wales.