Channel 5’s Dr Amir Khan urges public to become ‘Nature Doctors’ and build Insect A&Es
Star of Channel 5's GPs Behind Closed Doors and keen conservationist Dr Amir Khan has joined forces with two leading UK wildlife charities to urge people to become 'Nature Doctors' in their own gardens by planting for pollinators this year.
Dr Khan is working alongside Bumblebee Conservation and Butterfly Conservation to launch a new campaign asking people to set up their own 'Insect A&E' areas in their gardens to help struggling pollinators.
The Insect A&Es are places where these threatened but vitally important insects can rest, recuperate and rejuvenate.
According to a recent survey, 84% of UK adults are concerned about damage to the natural environment, and 56% about local biodiversity loss. Many are keen to take action to tackle these problems – but need advice on which plants to grow in their own gardens to support our native biodiversity.
The good news is this advice is now freely available and easily accessible in a handy, downloadable plant guide with information about how best to help butterflies, moths and bumblebees across the UK.
“As a nature lover I am delighted to join with these brilliant organisations in asking people to act now for wildlife. Simply by choosing some of these plants, people's gardens can become a haven for pollinators, or even a hospital they can recover in. Anyone can build an Insect A&E and help these amazing and precious creatures,” said Dr Khan.
“Being in nature has many tangible beneficial physical and mental effects – so why not get out there, relax and reconnect with nature by planting your own Insect A&E? It's so easy and it helps so much.”
Butterflies, moths and bumblebees are an essential part of our ecosystem. They are an important element of the food chain and are prey for birds, bats and other insectivorous animals.
But their habitat is rapidly decreasing and their numbers are declining – and the two charities are urging people to act now to help these insects rest, recuperate and rejuvenate in our gardens.
Julie Williams, CEO of Butterfly Conservation, said: “We're very excited to join forces with Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Dr Khan – not only to raise awareness of the threats to our amazing insects, but also to offer workable options for people keen to attract pollinators into their gardens.
“It is wonderful when one can live alongside the beauty of nature and enjoy its many physical and mental benefits. We hope that people across the UK will set up Insect A&Es to help sustain and support our very important and beautiful insects.”
In the UK at present, three quarters of butterfly and two-thirds of moth species are in decline.
Bumblebees are under threat as in the last 80 years populations have crashed – with two species becoming nationally extinct, and several others declining dramatically.
Gill Perkins, CEO of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, said, “Any initiative to help provide food for bumblebees and other pollinators is welcome! We know that every little helps when it comes to providing food sources for bees.
“It's important for people to grow the right type of bee friendly flowers. The information available through 'Insect A&E' helps people make the right choices for the planet's health.”
The two charities say that by people making small changes to their gardens, they can achieve a massive change for nature. So they are urging people to join in, visit www.butterfly-conservation.org/insectae and become a Nature Doctor.
Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies, moths and our environment. Its research provides advice on how to conserve and restore habitats, and the charity runs projects to protect more than 100 threatened species, as well as being involved in conserving hundreds of sites and reserves.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is a UK-based charity that was established in 2006 due to serious concerns about the 'plight of the bumblebees'. Its work involves increasing the quality and quantity of bumblebee habitat, inspiring a diverse range of people to take action for bumblebees, and enhancing understanding of bumblebee ecology and conservation.