Trees for the bees

With fears over declining bee populations prevailing this year, gardeners can play their own part in saving the creatures – and the environment.

Bees are an essential part of the UKs eco-system, helping to pollinate countless plants across the country.

They are also the thing that the honey industry depends on, but reports of the British bumble bee rapidly dying out have raised concerns.

The Town Crier has released an extensive list of plants that can be grown to attract bees.

"Wildlife in the garden seems even more important now than 25 years ago. Some plants are better than others at attracting birds and insects," it says.

"Organic techniques suggest that a garden supporting as much wildlife as possible will have less trouble from pests such as greenfly and caterpillars.

"Crops can be increased with better pollination, so attracting pollinating insects should be a goal for every gardener."

Included in the list of bee-helping plants are the Aesculus hippocastanum, or horse chestnut and the Fagus Beech tree.

Adding a greenhouse to the garden is a good start in expanding your selection of plants. It also offers a great place to watch the wildlife you have attracted.