BUGS reveals the hidden value of urban gardens for wildlife

Garden

Chaffinch

The work of the Biodiversity in Urban Gardens studies has revolutionised the ecological understanding of what we now recognise as a key urban habitat... There can be few studies which can have practically single-handedly created a new ecological discipline, but this is certainly true of BUGS.

Dr Steve Head, Coordinator and Chief Executive, Wildlife Gardening Forum

The Biodiversity in Urban Gardens Project (BUGS) showed which garden features are best for biodiversity and which common recommendations for wildlife friendly gardens are most effective.

Many gardeners across Sheffield took part and showed enthusiasm for finding out which species live in their garden and why. Widespread media coverage evidenced a broader societal interest and two popular books by co-investigator Ken Thompson have taken science to keen gardeners.

BUGS showed the potential of gardens to improve urban biodiversity, capturing the interest of the policy community. A follow-on project was funded by Natural England, the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment and Heritage Service, Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

This work has inspired research projects and campaigns at the Royal Horticultural Society and informed Local Biodiversity Action Plans.