Posted 8th May 2018 by Peter Byrne
Alan Titchmarsh has called on gardeners to offer a refuge to struggling butterflies, moths and other pollinators by making a metre for wildlife this summer
Titchmarsh is launching the 'Plots for Pollinators' campaign to encourage people to set aside one square metre of garden or outdoor space to plant a nectar-rich flowerbed, or a colourful garden container.
He said: "The future of our butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects is under threat, as the places where they live are disappearing."
"The cold start to spring may affect how some butterflies fare this year, as they could experience a delayed emergence, meaning they’ll have less time to feed and breed - but you can help by creating some ‘plots for pollinators’."
"There are so many different flowers that are great nectar sources, like Catmint, Cosmos or Calendula. See if you can find just one square metre and you could attract lots of butterflies this spring and summer, like my favourite, the Red Admiral."
"It doesn’t have to be on the lawn either – you could create a vertical garden on a bit of unused wall or fence and this would make a huge difference for pollinators."
Pollinating insects are important for the fertilisation of many crops, including plants, trees and wild flowers.
If utilised, gardens could be an important refuge for pollinators, which are increasingly under threat from habitat loss, agricultural intensification and climate change.
Previously widespread species have had their numbers plummet in recent years, including the Small Tortoiseshell and Garden Tiger moth.
BC Ambassador and wildlife gardening writer, Kate Bradbury, said: "Life without butterflies, moths, bees and hoverflies would be miserable, but together we can help reverse their declines."
"Planting just one plot in each of the UK’s estimated 24 million gardens will make a huge difference because if everyone did this, the whole country would be linked with nectar and pollen-rich flowers."
You can find out more about participating here: www.butterfly-conservation.org/PlantPlots
Image courtesy of Iain H Leach