Friday, 22 December 2017

RHS Plants for Bugs Project

Suction Sampler
Suction sampler being used to collect insects from the plants

Since 2009 the Royal horticultural Society (RHS) has been carrying out research to find out there was any difference in abundance of animals in native only and non-native garden plots.

36 test plots were set up at RHS Garden Wisley, each with 14 plant species and managed like real gardens. The invertebrates they supported were regularly sampled.
The first report found little difference between the number of pollinators visiting native and non-native plants, in fact some exotics provided pollen later in the season.

The second study found that the more plants there were the more invertebrates were collected. Native plants were better than non-native, but not by much. Non UK northern hemisphere plants supported about 10% fewer invertebrates.

Recommendations for wildlife gardeners:

1. Put in plenty of plants and let them fill the space.

2. The more nectar rich flowers you have the more pollinators you will attract and support.

3. You will get more invertebrates if you have native British plants and related ones from the northern hemisphere.

4. Plant natives such as hemp agrimony, primrose, foxglove, honeysuckle, heather and purple loosestrife.

5. Extend the flower season for pollinators with late flowering exotic species, especially if they are densely planted and flower strongly.

No comments:

Post a Comment