Five ways to help save the UK's beautiful bugs

Bumble bee
The UK's insect population is under threat. Jamie Robins from charity Buglife suggests five simple ways we can all help to look after our bug friends.

Across the UK, our precious pollinators are in decline.

This is due to the loss of wildflower-rich habitat, changes in how we manage the land and pesticides.

This means it is all the more important that we use our city green spaces to help them thrive.

Since 2015 Buglife has been working with local communities across 12 towns and cities on the Urban Buzz project. We’ve created wildflower meadows, bug-friendly formal gardens, bee banks for nesting, living roof bike shelters, traditional orchards, herb gardens and much more.

Thanks to the help of more than 11,000 volunteers we’ve produced an incredible 973 "Buzzing Hotspots" and improved over 274 hectares for pollinators.

This project is just the start. Anyone can help with even the smallest postage stamp-sized garden.

Here are Buglife’s top tips for making your garden insect-friendly:

1. Grow a (mini) meadow

Add some wildflowers to your lawn and put the lawnmower away for the summer. Even clover, dandelions and daisies can be a magnet for bees and butterflies.

A meadow
Credit: Buglife

2. Add a little pond

Create a small, shallow wildlife pond - even hoverflies need a drink. Why not add some flowering water mint?

Find some pond advice on the Buglife website.

A pond
Credit: Buglife

3. Make a home for bees

Buy a bee hotel, or create your own, using bundled bamboo canes or reed stems in a sunny location. The best bee hotels have lots of holes which are 4 - 10mm wide.

Bug hotel
A home for bees and bugs

4. Plant a herb garden

Sage, mint, rosemary and thyme are hugely popular with pollinators and in your own kitchen too! Any old planter, container or sink will do - or simply some pots on your windowsill.

Growing herbs
Credit: Buglife

5. Put away the chemicals and pesticides

You might be trying to keep your flowers looking healthier but insecticides are an enormous threat to our pollinators. Try Buglife's pest control ideas.

A meadow near a road
Credit: Buglife

Find out more

Buglife's Urban Buzz project has received National Lottery support for its work in Cardiff, Birmingham, Leeds and Leicester. Find out more on the Buglife website.

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