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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Creation of stinging nettle Urtica dioica patches to attract butterflies to urban gardens in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Published source details

Gaston K.J., Smith R.M., Thompson K. & Warren P.H. (2005) Urban domestic gardens (II): experimental tests of methods for increasing biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14, 395-413


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees Bee Conservation

During a three‐year study in Sheffield, UK, no artificial nest chambers of any design (above ground terracotta plant pots, buried terracotta plant pots with entrance holes at the top (no pipe) and wooden boxes) were occupied by bumblebees Bombus spp. (Gaston et al. 2005). Between 52 and 72 nest boxes were put out each year, in 20 domestic gardens.

Provide artificial nest sites for solitary bees Bee Conservation

Three types of nest box were placed in 20 urban gardens in Sheffield, UK, from 2000‐2002. They were occupied by two bee species – Hylaeus communis (10 gardens) and Osmia rufa (two gardens). The most frequently used were those constructed of 20 cm lengths of bamboo stem in plastic pipe, and 4 mm or 6 mm diameter holes drilled into wooden blocks, with uptake in over 50% of gardens over three years (Gaston et al. 2005). Tin cans filled with paper drinking straws (4‐6 mm diameter) and 8‐10 mm holes drilled in wood were less well‐used.