Slugs and snails are ‘garden visitors’, not pests, according to the Royal Horticultural Society


The word ‘pest’ should not be formally replaced with anything and the charity will instead refer to the species by their individual names, a spokesperson for the charity said.

The change means the RHS will no longer publish its annual list of gardeners’ most complained about pests, which last year was dominated by slugs and snails.

Instead, issues reported by gardeners “will be published in new ways to ease the transition from the term ‘pest'”, the charity said.

The change is part of a series of measures aimed at persuading gardeners to adopt a more messy and nature-friendly approach to managing their lawns and flower beds.

In the past, the charity’s horticulturists have urged gardeners to avoid watering their lawns or mowing them too often to save water and preserve nature habitats.

Avoid the use of pesticides

He also urged gardeners to avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides to protect bees and other pollinators, which are threatened by chemical use and climate change.

Some species have experienced a marked decline in recent decades, especially those with specialized needs in terms of flowers or nesting sites. Butterflies and moths are also thought to have decreased in number.

Dr Salisbury also says social wasps – a much maligned yellow and black striped species that live in nests and have a painful sting – should be encouraged as they consume other insects and are an important part of the ecosystem, despite the fact that they can be “a little inconvenient at a picnic”.

RHS advice suggests only killing weeds with chemicals as a ‘last resort’ when other methods such as digging, burning or using hot water are not possible.

In lawns, buttercups, clovers and dandelions can often be considered weeds, but the charity suggests that gardeners “may choose to keep these plants to create a flower-rich lawn”.

Lawns don’t need to be ‘beautifully manicured’

Jamie Butterworth, a garden designer and RHS ambassador, told an audience at RHS’s Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival last year that he had begun to turn away work from clients who wanted to install lawns immaculate.

“It’s our responsibility as gardeners, as HRMs, as visitors to shows like this to say why – why do you need your whole lawn beautifully manicured? This is no longer where we are,” he said.

RHS shows have also taken a less tidy approach to gardening, with judges awarding a weed-filled garden a gold medal at the Tatton Flower Show last year.

The charity has also pledged to ban plastic and artificial turf from its shows this year, and recent show gardens have often been themed around environmental issues such as sustainable fashion, climate change and environmental issues. green spaces in cities.


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