The Organic Gardening Podcast - December

  • Last updated: 7 December 2023
Our guest this month is Anthony McCluskey from Butterfly Conservation, who shares some fascinating advice about how to support butterflies and caterpillars in your growing space.
Alternative text should describe the visual content of the image.
Anthony McCluskey explains the importance providing safe havens for caterpillars

We chat to Butterfly Conservation’s urban butterfly project officer about the importance of attracting more butterflies and nighttime pollinators such as moths.

Anthony McCluskey, who is based in Stirling, also provides some brilliant advice on things you can plant and do in your garden to help support pollinator populations.

“Butterflies and moths play a really important role in our garden ecosystem and food web. They collect pollen as they go about their business…and there are some wildflowers which are only pollinated by moths. They’re also a good food for birds,” he says.

“But our recent studies show more than 80 per cent of our UK butterfly species are in decline and a lot of our moths are in decline too. The major reasons are changes to agriculture, but urbanisation is having a role, and pesticides and herbicides too. If you want to boost butterfly numbers locally, you need to pack your garden with ‘caterpillar plants’.”

Also in this episode…

Chris, Emma and Fiona take time to reflect on their successes and failures this year, and Emma answers questions from the postbag including how to plant wildlife-friendly hedges, tackle leek moth and improve soil in greenhouses.

Subscribe to our podcast via Spotify, Apple Podcast and all the other main podcast providers. Alternatively, listen here

Thanks to our sponsor Viridian Nutrition, which produce a range of award-winning ethical and organic supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbal oils and balms. To find out more, visit

Join Garden Organic!

Enjoy the Organic Gardening Podcast? Get more growing advice at your fingertips with a Garden Organic membership, including discounts to partner gardens, and access to our gardening advice line.

become a member
Alternative text should describe the visual content of the image.