The first plant logo scheme in the UK has been launched by the National Botanic Garden in Wales.
The scheme aims to offer consumers clarity over what plants are guaranteed to be loved by bees and other pollinating insects. Research has shown that currently, even plants labelled by sellers as pollinator friendly can contain potentially toxic pesticides.
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The new logo will feature on plants that don’t contain synthetic insecticides and are grown in peat-free compost.
The Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme aims to tackle false claims around the phrase pollinator friendly and to make sure consumers feel assured they are buying a plant that will be good for bees and pollinators. It also aims to prevent pollinator decline and benefit other wildlife such as hedgehogs, sparrows and frogs.
The logo will be backed by DNA-barcoding research conducted by the National Botanic Garden which has been investigating which plants pollinators visit over 17 years.
Head of science at National Botanic Garden Dr Natasha de Vere says: “There are so many labels out there in garden centres and other stores that advertise plants as being bee-friendly or pollinator-friendly when there is often not much evidence of their benefits.”
Twenty three participating growers and specialist nurseries, which all grow plants peat free in a synthetic-insecticide-free environment, have signed up to the scheme.
At the moment the Saving Pollinator Assurance Scheme logo will be seen in garden centres and specialist nurseries across Wales. But the hope is that it could be rolled out to other parts of the UK.