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Urban areas offer pollinator hope

Species - Bees

The mixture of plant species cultivated in urban areas could be key to the future wellbeing of pollinating insects.

Species that grow in people’s gardens and allotments such as lavender, borage, dandelions, thistles, brambles, and buttercups are particularly important food sources for these insects, say the researchers of the University of Bristol-led study.

The study recommends managing public green spaces better including mowing lawns less often. It also says planners and local councils should increase the number of allotments in towns and cities.

"Pollinators are a vital part of a functioning society, and we need to ensure we are helping them to thrive in our urban environments," says Bill Kunin, study co-author and professor of Ecology at the university.

Dr Katherine Baldock, lead researcher from the University of Bristol, adds: "By understanding the impact of each urban land use on pollinators, whether its gardens, allotments, road verges or parks, we can make cities better places for pollinators."

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