Put Pollinators First - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

Pledge now for pollinators

Join us in our pledges to Put Pollinators First, take our survey and find out more about pollinating insects.

Join our Put Pollinators First campaign, part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. Every month through spring and summer we’ll be encouraging you to look after our declining pollinators, offering practical advice on doing your bit.

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We’ll be getting involved at the magazine, too – our team members have made individual pledges, as have our expert panellists. Find out about the pledges we’ve made this month, below, then make your own pledges by following the link provided.


Join us in our pledges

1

Nurture a nettle patch

Leave that sprawling patch of nettles at the end of the garden to its own devices. It’ll be perfect for egg-laying butterflies like small tortoiseshells. By the time I cut the nettles back in late summer to prevent them seeding, the first brood of caterpillars will have already developed.

Chris Thorogood, botanist at Oxford University Botanic Garden


2

Support moths

I’m going to add plants such as evening primrose, hebe, honeysuckle and buddleia that emit their scent in the evening. This should help moth populations and, as an added bonus, may also encourage bats looking for an insect meal.

Claire Gibbs, principal ecologist at Surrey Wildlife Trusts

Put pollinators first, by making your pledge – it’s quick and easy.


May pledges

3

Join Plantlife’s No Mow May challenge

Leave some or all of your lawn unmown during May. Let the flowers bloom and then, at the end of the month, take part in our annual Every Flower Counts citizen science survey to find out how many bees your lawn can feed. Of course, the more you leave unmown and the more flowers you have, the more bees you’ll feed!

Dr Trevor Dines, botanist, Plantlife


4

Add blocks of pollinator-friendly flowers

I’m going to grow another 10 types of pollinatorfriendly flowers in my garden – planted in blocks – to boost the menu on offer.

Adrian Thomas, Project Development Manager, RSPB

Make your May pledge

Put Pollinators First by making your own pledge – it’s quick and easy


April pledges

If you didn’t get around to taking the pledge to help pollinators in April, there’s still time to act. Register your pledge below.

5

Leave dandelions to flower

“Dandelions are often regarded as weeds, but I’ll be leaving these gorgeous native wildflowers well alone, for they provide fantastic spring forage for hungry bees just emerged from hibernation. Deadhead them before the seeds release if you don’t want more next year!”

Dave Goulson, entomologist


6

Plant lungwort

“Lungwort, also known as pulmonaria, attracts the hairy-footed flower bee. So I’m going to plant some in my garden.”

Emma Crawforth, Gardening Editor, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine


7

Create a herb garden

“I’ll be planting a new herb garden, with rosemary, marjoram, sage and thyme, as all are top pollinator plants, as well as chives, whose flowers are a magnet for the red-tailed bumblebee.”

Brigit Howard, naturalist

Make your April pledge

Put Pollinators First by making your own pledge – it’s quick and easy


March pledges

If you didn’t get around to taking the pledge to help pollinators in March, there’s still time to act. Register your pledge below.

8

Sow Pollinator Mix meadow seeds

“I’ll be sowing the free Pollinator Mix seeds that subscribers were given this month. They’ll look great and are so easy – sow in gaps in borders or near your veg to boost crop pollination.”

Emma Crawforth, Gardening Editor, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine


9

Create habitats for butterflies, moths and caterpillars

“I’ll add more caterpillar food plants. Why not do the same? Holly and ivy are great choices, and do leave a few nettles to thrive. Butterflies and moths lay eggs on these plants, as their caterpillars need to feed on them.”

Kate Bradbury, Wildlife Editor, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine


10

Make a cornfield nectar bar

“I’ll be sowing a nectar bar for bees, butterflies and hoverflies. I hope you can too – choose a sunny spot and scatter seeds of poppies, cornflowers, corn chamomile and corn marigolds.”

Dr Trevor Dines, Botanist, Plantlife

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Make your March pledge

Put Pollinators First by making your own pledges – it’s quick and easy

More on pollinators

Find out more about pollinators in our collection of practical projects and inspirational features.