From July until September 2016, the RHS is urging gardeners to complete an online survey that will help the charity better understand how widely gardeners plant for pollinators. The survey can be found here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RHSp4pSurvey
RHS scientists believe the study, the first of its kind in the UK, will help fill a gap in the knowledge that exists about the distribution of garden plants which provide nectar and pollen for pollinators.
RHS plant health scientist Dr Stephanie Bird said: "It’s well known that gardens play an important role in attracting and sustaining pollinators, but to fully understand whether this potential is being realised we need to know which plants are being grown and where, and that’s why we’re appealing to gardeners, with even the smallest available planting space, to complete the survey.
"Uniquely this research will allow us to take a peek beyond the garden fence to get a better understanding of which of the tens of thousands of plants currently in cultivation are being grown, and what impact the plant choices gardeners make are having on pollinators."
Dr Katherine Baldock from the University of Bristol added: "We know from our research that urban areas can be good for bees and other pollinators, and gardens play an important role in providing food sources. The results of this survey are crucial in helping us understand which plants gardeners across the UK grow so that we can prioritise these for future research."
The survey data will be analysed by scientists at the RHS and the University of Bristol over the autumn with the results expected to be available to gardeners by the end of the year.