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Nature

Poll: Understanding the need for biodiversity

"Around a third of the food we eat relies on pollinators such as bees."

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By Fran Tuckey, 72Point

Millions of adults understand their need to do their bit for biodiversity - with 73 percent of allergy sufferers even willing to plant flowers in their garden.

Biodiversity is essential for the processes that support all life on Earth, including humans. (Arla via SWNS)

A study of 2,000 UK adults also revealed 54 percent are more inclined to let their garden become more overgrown to help bees play their part, despite the chances of being stung.

Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) have added bug hotels, bird feeders and bee pollinators to homes and gardens to do their part.

While 20 percent are happy to put up with worms moving near them while they are sitting on the grass.

Although 63 percent of those polled suffer from allergies, 89 percent are happy to put up with symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny noses and watery eyes, to support nature.

Protecting pollinators like bees is vital for human survival (Arla via SWNS)

Graham Wilkinson, vice president of agriculture from Arla, which commissioned the research ahead of World Bee Day and World Biodiversity Day, said: “We know how important pollinators are for nature, given that around a third of the food we eat relies on pollinators such as bees.

"Which is why last year we launched The Arla Bee Road. The initiative aims to help everyone to grow and improve pollinator habitats however big or small, by joining our farmers and planting pollinator pit stops to help bees and bugs travel around the country.

“An incredible 120,000 households joined us last year, planting pollen-rich wildflowers.

The study also found wasps, woodlouse, flies and bluebottles were found to be the creatures respondents dislike the most.

The study revealed that 54 percent are more inclined to let their garden become more overgrown to help bees. (Arla via SWNS)

But 28 percent are looking to take part in ‘No Mow May,' to help encourage the growth of these creatures’ natural habitats.

When asked what they think is the most important thing to do to encourage biodiversity, planting pollinator patches for bees, protecting habitats and planting trees came out on top.

While 29 percent feel confident they know which flowers are best to attract pollinators like bees within their garden.

Many are already doing their bit for biodiversity, including making ‘wild’ areas in their gardens and leaving logs near the home to encourage small insects and creatures.

Despite this, only one in five consider their garden to be completely friendly to bees and other pollinators.

Some 22 percent would like to do more, but don’t know where to start.

It also emerged that 34 percent are proud that encouraging biodiversity in the British countryside is a priority, with 63 percent believing it's important that businesses encourage biodiversity.

And 71 percent think the overall impact on the health of the planet would be significant if everyone did their bit to encourage biodiversity.

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) understand why bees are important in the fight to save our biodiversity.

And 57 percent are connecting bees with many of the foods we eat every day.

Despite this, nearly a third wouldn’t know what to do if they spotted a bee in peril, with some admitting they would simply ‘do nothing.'

More than a quarter (26 percent) admitted if they saw a bee floundering on the floor, they would ‘put it out of its misery,’ or ‘just nudge it off the path.'

But 37 percent of those polled, via OnePoll, would offer a struggling bee sugar water, while 33 percent would pick it up and put it on a flower.

ARLA FARMERS' TOP TIPS TO ENCOURAGE BIODIVERSITY#

Plant more species, particularly those that attract bees and other pollinating insects. You don’t need to have a garden for this. You can recycle yogurt pots to make your very own pollinator pots even if you only have a windowsill to offer.

• If you see a bee struggling, try giving it a bit of sugary water and moving it out of harm's way while it recovers.

• Create a small area and let it ‘grow wild’ or leave a patch of fallen leaves. Insects, birds, and small mammals will benefit from the cover and native plants.

• Put up a bird feeder or nest box. This doesn’t need to be in a garden, some birds will come to a feeder on a balcony, or front porch or large windowsill

• Create a bug hotel for insects to use over winter, or put a bat box or hedgehog house out for creatures

• If you have a driveway - consider making it a green driveway without the concrete

• Stop using pesticides or herbicides and swap them for organic products.

• Leave a pile of logs out for small creatures like stag beetles to house in.

• Get children involved in the activities. Inspiring future generations to love and respect wildlife is so important for the long-term

10 THINGS BRITS HAVE IMPLEMENTED IN THEIR GARDENS IN ORDER TO BE MORE BIODIVERSE:

1. Planting flowers for bees and other pollinators
2. Putting up bird feeders or nest boxes
3. Introducing a ‘wild’ area in their garden
4. Swapping chemical treatments and pesticides for organic ones
5. Leaving piles of logs near their home to encourage creatures like stag beetles
6. Planting trees
7. Creating watering holes in their garden
8. Installing a bug hotel for insects over winter
9. Letting the lawn go wild
10. Protecting habitats

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