Alan Titchmarsh is calling on gardeners to help create a back garden lifeline for butterflies, bees and moths across the UK by planting a pot for pollinating insects.
The Butterfly Conservation Vice-president is launching ‘Plant Pots for Pollinators’ a gardening campaign to help the UK’s beleaguered pollinating insects under threat from climate change, habitat loss and agricultural intensification.
The project is encouraging householders to plant a pot with nectar sources such as Shasta Daisy, Oregano and Catmint.
By planting just one pot in each of the UK’s estimated 22 million gardens, nature lovers can provide pollinators with an important source of food and shelter throughout the spring and summer.
Alan Titchmarsh said: “One carefully planted, well positioned pot or container can make a huge difference to butterflies, moths, bees and pollinating insects that need nectar to fuel their work.”
Pollinating insects are essential for the fertilisation of many crops, including fruit, seeds and oils as well as many plants, trees and wild flowers.
Butterflies, moths, bees and other pollinating insects are increasingly under threat from habitat loss, agricultural intensification and climate change.
If pollinators are threatened then so is the health of the environment and the way our ecosystem functions.
Titchmarsh explained: “Our butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects are under threat like never before. The places where they live are disappearing at a worrying rate, putting the future of many species at risk.
“But you can do your bit in your garden by planting a pot for pollinators. You don't need a big, fancy garden to be butterfly-friendly, a window box will do the job if you are short of space.
“You don't need green-fingers to get involved - planting a pot for pollinators is a really easy project.
“Remember your front gardens too. You can bring colour and life to your doorstep with a pot for pollinators. Persuade your neighbours to do the same and the street where you live could become a flowery super highway for butterflies and moths, helping them move through built-up areas to find suitable breeding habitat.”
Butterfly Conservation Ambassador and wildlife gardening writer Kate Bradbury, said: “Luring butterflies to your garden, balcony, porch or doorstep does as much good for you as it does for butterflies.
“There are several species that will come to your pot, from skippers and whites to the more flamboyant Peacock, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. The greater the range of flowers you provide, the more pollinators you will see.
“Pop your container in a sunny spot, ideally where you have a good view. And do take the time to watch what comes along to feed. You never know who will turn up.”