Swifts... their screaming calls are the sound of summer, yet these aerial acrobats are in trouble. Their UK population has declined by almost 60% over the last two decades. This week we meet John Stimpson, the man on a mission to reverse the decline of this much-loved bird. Does garden size matter when it comes to providing food for pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies? New research from the RHS along with the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Northumbria shows that even tiny gardens have a valuable role to play – but it all depends on the planting. The paper also produced interesting findings on how certain types of plants and flower shapes were particularly useful to pollinators, as scientist Nick Tew explains. Plus RHS gardening advisor Nikki Barker shares tips on how to garden successfully on clay soil.
RHS wildlife gardening hub
The man who built homes for 60,000 swifts (Guardian article)
University of Bristol press release (pollinator research)
RHS advice on gardening on clay soil
It's a creature that has been crawling around the earth's surface since the time of the dinosaurs. There are estimated to be more than a million of them for every human on earth. But what do they actually do? Dr Andy Salisbury, Principal RHS Entomologist delves into the fascinating world of ants...
What have wasps ever done for us? The answer might surprise you, as we meet entomologist Dr Seirian Sumner, author of Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps. Food and garden writer Rekha Mistry offers advice on growing turmeric and ginger at home, while RHS Garden Hyde Hall's very own veg...