Greenhouse and garden enthusiasts to learn how to boost biodiversity

UK garden and greenhouse fans could soon be given information about which plants are best for boosting biodiversity in their green spaces.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is conducting a new research project looking at how native and non-native varieties affect insect levels.

The three-year Plants for Bugs project got underway at RHS Garden Wisley in spring 2009 and will study the relationship between insects and their surrounding foliage.

RHS horticultural advisor Helen Bostock explained: "The average garden contains around 70 per cent non-native plants, but their role in supporting wildlife is unclear."

She added that the research will help educate garden and greenhouse enthusiasts on the best way to improve biodiversity.

One of the main questions asked is whether growers should only plant native species to encourage insects to live in their garden or if near-native or exotic plants can work too.

Meanwhile, the RHS has encouraged its members to sign up to the BBC Tree OClock project and plant a tree as part of the world record attempt taking place on December 5th.