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How gardeners can help our declining bees and other pollinators by avoiding the use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides
“One of the biggest problems for bees and other pollinators is a lack of flowering plants. Britain’s gardens, and gardeners, are critical to support pollinators and there are often more of these insects thriving in gardens than surrounding agricultural land.
“It is better for pollinators that gardens are crammed full of Perfect for Pollinator plants, providing them with vital nectar and pollen, than no plants, or plants without flowers.
“People concerned by the decline in pollinator numbers can purchase plants grown without synthetic pesticides from organic nurseries. The RHS will continue to work with government on the National Pollinator Strategy, which sets out actions and goals to support pollinators and try and answer questions surrounding the causes of pollinator decline.
“We advise our hundreds and thousands of members and millions of other gardeners to avoid using pesticides. Where there is no reasonable alternative we urge anyone using pesticides to proceed with caution and never spray open flowers.”
In November 2014 the UK Government launched the National Pollinator Strategy (England). We are a key stakeholder of the Strategy, which sets out actions and goals to support pollinators and try and answer some of the questions surrounding causes of pollinator declines. Part of the Strategy encourages gardeners to choose plants that provide resources for pollinators and endorses the RHS Perfect for Pollinators list and logo.
As the country’s leading garden charity we know the crucial role bees and other pollinators play and we are committed to working with all parties to ensure that our members have access to the latest advice on how to protect and encourage pollinators.
We work closely with Defra, the Chemicals Regulation Directorate and other organisations and are careful with the gardening advice we provide too. We advise our hundreds and thousands of members and millions of other gardeners, to avoid using pesticides wherever possible. We urge anyone using pesticides to proceed with caution and never spray open flowers.
The Perfect for Pollinators label was created by the RHS to help gardeners and retailers identify garden plants that are beneficial to pollinators. One of the biggest problems for bees and other pollinators is lack of flowering plants, so the initiative is extremely important to help our precious pollinators.
As a study of UK garden centre plants has revealed that some plants carrying the RHS Perfect for Pollinators label contained traces of pesticides, we are currently reviewing the RHS Perfect for Pollinators initiative.
Due to this research we are further considering how the logo can help gardeners grow the best plants for pollinators, while making sure they are well informed of all facts and ensuring that risks to our pollinating insects are minimised. For anyone concerned by this research we have created a list of organic nurseries.
The horticultural supply chain is complicated, but we are speaking to the trade about this research to try and find a solution. We are gathering evidence and information from a variety of sources and will provide an update once we have decided the most appropriate action.
We will also continue to work with industry and government to support pollinators through the National Pollinator Strategy.
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We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9