A joint effort by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) seeks to reshape perceptions of slugs and snails among gardeners.

They launched the campaign to give slugs and snails an “image makeover” and help gardeners to reconsider the role of the much-maligned creatures.

By fostering appreciation and coexistence with slugs and snails, the campaign will “arm people with facts” and encourage people to “appreciate and co-exist” with a more environmentally friendly gardening approach.

They are “nature’s clean-up crew”, the trust said.

While only a small fraction of the approximately 150 mollusc species in the UK pose issues for gardeners, the majority contribute positively by feeding on rotting plants, fungi, and dung, thereby aiding in nutrient recycling.

Additionally, they serve as crucial food sources for various wildlife, including frogs, thrushes, ground beetles, and hedgehogs. The campaign emphasises that supporting molluscs indirectly benefits a diverse array of wildlife.

To assist gardeners to “live harmoniously alongside slugs and snails”, the trust and RHS have produced a guide offering practical tips.

Suggestions include creating mollusc-friendly habitats, selecting less attractive or more resilient plants, and implementing protective barriers like copper tape and wool pellets.

Heidi Mansell, representing the trust, said the molluscs made “a valuable contribution to the ecosystem” but were “often viewed as garden pests”.

“It’s true they don’t have the appeal of some of our better-loved garden visitors… but they are an important food source for these species and others,” she said.

“Plus, let’s credit them with the positive assistance that they give to gardeners; helping to clean up decay and enriching the soil – what’s not to love.

“By arming people with educational facts about these lesser-known creatures, together with practical tips and advice for gardeners, we can give slugs and snails an image makeover.

“Let’s embrace these slimy and shelled garden pals, rather than trying to rid our gardens of them with pesticides, which can cause harm to other wildlife too.”



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