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Native plants not always better for Wildlife

The  five-year  pioneering  Plants for Bugs project  results  revealed  at  the Wildlife Gardening Forum Conference at RHS Wisley on 17th March show that native plants are not necessarily better for wildlife than non-natives.

RHS scientists Helen Bostock and Andrew Salisbury led an  examination  on  the  value of native  and non-native  plantings for  biodiversity leading to evidence-based advice for the wildlife gardener. Salisbury was keen to say he had discovered only preliminary results but the overwhelming conclusion was that near natives, and even one exotic plant, was as good for wildlifeas natives.

They hoped to tackle wildlife planting  guidance  for  gardeners, which is largely based on anecdotal  evidence  or assumptions  that  have  been  shown  to  be  untrue,  for  example  that  nettles  in  gardens  will attract butterflies. One widely held assumption is  that native plants are vital to attract wildlife to gardens. In fact, approximately 70 per cent of plants in the 'average' garden are non-native yet these gardens are rich in  biodiversity.

Read more about the project

10 April 2014