Royal Horticultural Society Appeals to Gardeners to Help Identify Pollinator-Friendly Plants

Friday 1 July 2016

New survey aims to peek beyond the garden fence to understand how gardeners are supporting pollinators


The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the University of Bristol are asking gardeners to take part in a new study to identify the most commonly planted pollinator-friendly plants and assess how good UK gardens are for pollinators.

From July until September 2016, the RHS is urging the UK’s 27 million gardeners, from window sill and urban gardeners to more traditional horticulturists, to complete an online survey that will help the charity better understand how widely gardeners plant for pollinators. The survey can be found here:

RHS scientists believe the study, the first of its kind in the UK, will help fill a significant gap in the knowledge that exists about the distribution of garden plants which provide nectar and pollen for pollinators.
Although the RHS has already created a list of plants that are good at attracting and sustaining pollinators - Perfect for Pollinators, the charity is keen to tap into the knowledge and experience of gardeners to enhance the list. As part of the survey the RHS will be asking gardeners to nominate pollinator-friendly plants not currently listed.

The ultimate aim is to create a ‘champions league’ of the most pollinator-friendly garden plants
Speaking about the research RHS Plant Health scientist Dr Stephanie Bird, who is leading the research 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.

For more information please contact Garfield Myrie in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3060 or  


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The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

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