As part of a national campaign, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is launching a new practical guide, Your Guide to Taking Action for Insects, which will help families do their bit in reversing decades of decline for the UK’s struggling bees, butterflies, moths, bugs and beetles.

The 20-page illustrated guide is available as a free download via https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/take-action-insects. It’s packed full of tips, useful info, and links all aimed at helping families make simple yet crucial changes to how we shop, garden and run our homes.

Large blue butterfly (Maculinea arion)

The guide has been authored by The Wildlife Trusts working with partner organisations Buglife, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and Garden Organic. It has been launched as part of a wider campaign, Action for Insects, which aims to reverse decades of drastic population declines among insects.

A previous report published by the campaign in 2019 and authored by eminent insect expert Prof David Goulson, concluded that 41% of insect species now faced extinction around the world, while population declines were widespread across other insect species. The report also highlighted the vital part played by insects in human food production and in their support of countless other birds, mammals and plants.

Your Guide to Taking Action for Insects recognises that some insects aren’t always popular with some members of the public, such as gardeners. However, it highlights the crucial roles they play in pollinating flowers and crops, controlling pests and natural recycling, as well as the beauty that they bring to our lives.

Photo Katrina Martin

Guide users can go chemical- and peat-free, and get advice on which plants are best at combining colour, scent and attraction to bees and butterflies, whatever the season. All outdoor spaces, from tower block balconies to cottage gardens, can be made to count in the campaign to restore insect numbers.

butterfly, Jon Hawkins – Surrey Hills Photography

Dr Gary Mantle MBE, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, said, “We’re delighted to be launching Your Guide to Taking Action for Insects. The warmer weather of spring and the current restrictions placed upon everyone by the response to the Covid-19 virus have combined to mean that people are spending more time in their backyards, gardens, and allotments. This is an ideal opportunity to make positive changes to help insects.

“Our guide gives them the inspiration and the practical know-how to take a few simple steps which will make a big difference to their local wildlife. Insects are one of the key building blocks of life on which we and countless other familiar species, from hedgehogs to garden birds, rely. If we follow the guide’s advice as gardeners, shoppers and homeowners we can turn the tide on insect declines.”

Your Guide to Taking Action for Insects is available now as a free download via the campaign signup page at https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/take-action-insects