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Why urban gardens are crucial for conserving bees and butterflies – and how you can help them

By Nicholas Tew, PhD Candidate in Community Ecology, University of Bristol
Jane Memmott, Professor of Ecology, University of Bristol
Katherine Baldock, Senior Lecturer in Ecology, Northumbria University, Newcastle
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As humans have industrialised farming to feed a growing global population, pollinators – animals vital for plant reproduction – have seen their food supply decline. In the UK, intensive agriculture has eroded biological diversity in large portions of the countryside, with vast swathes of cereal crops and ryegrass pastures now replacing flower-rich habitats.

For pollinators such as bees, hoverflies and butterflies, a loss of flowers means a loss of the nectar and pollen that makes up their food. A reduction in the diversity…

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