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What is Buy Native?

Official Launch Press Release

For general release on 9 September 2023

Press Release Title:

Want Nature in your Garden? New Search Engine Could Help!

We know that biodiversity is under threat. It’s a problem which affects us all. But happily, it’s also one that we can all help to fix with the help of a new native plant search engine.

Whether you have a window box or a farm, planting native wildflowers and trees is a simple step that helps solve our biodiversity crisis.

What is a Native Plant?

Native plants are those wildflowers and trees which arrived on our island naturally since the last ice age. They have long-established, complex relationships with other species – mammals, fungi, other plants even – that create a healthy, resilient food web.

Our native wildlife has evolved alongside these native plants, so creatures often depend on them to survive. We may see non-natives like Buddleia as a win for nature, as they’re covered in butterflies, but forget that butterflies also need native caterpillar food plants to complete their life cycle.

Why Grow Native Plants?

We aren’t taught to identify wildflowers and trees at school, so many of us see native plants as ‘weeds’ or ‘green mush’. But when you can tell them apart, a whole world opens up before your eyes.

The best way to get to know a plant is to grow a plant – we like to say ‘grow it to know it’. But finding reliable, easy to use lists of native plants online is tricky. Many sources have incorrect information, and others don’t link to sellers.

Buy Native makes the whole experience of buying these plants not just simple, but fun, too!

Are Non-Natives Bad for Nature?

Native plants are the bottom of the food web – restoring nature depends on bringing back these species. But non-natives can have benefits, too – we recommend adding native species to your existing garden.

While native species are, in general, better for biodiversity, there are benefits to some non-natives, especially when they’re closely related to plants naturally found in the UK. Creating a biodiverse garden really means adding many different species, with vegetation at different heights, and refuges like ponds, log piles and compost heaps.

What is Buy Native?

Buy Native is a search engine for British native plants, with fun filters you can use to find species which will grow well in your garden.

The site is designed around ease of use, with clear explanations and simple terms that make things easier for the novice gardener. For the green-fingered, there is an advanced search option available, with more complex filtering and search tools. Each profile has links to seller pages, so you can buy the plant.

Why is Buy Native Needed?

‘Supply chain’ is not a sexy term, but it’s something that is deeply broken is the garden industry. Great native plant nurseries exist, and the public want to support biodiversity, but the garden industry is not connecting the dots.

In the USA, native plants are a huge part of gardening, but the UK is a long way behind. We need reliable, fun and clear information, presented to consumers in an accessible format.

Online sales of plants now exceeds 10% of the total, but it’s difficult for small nurseries to sell direct to consumers without anywhere to advertise. Buy Native is designed to solve this issue, saving users money by connecting them directly with independent nurseries across the UK.

Native plants aren’t just valuable for biodiversity – they’re also beautiful, like this Old Man’s Beard!

What About Alan?

We noticed that alantitchmarsh.co.uk was available, and thought it might be a fun way to jump start the launch of this website. We know Alan is passionate about plants, and have reached out to him, hoping he’ll appreciate our fun filters and colourful profiles!

As soon as Alan gets in touch, we’ll be gifting the domain to him, free of charge.

Author Profile

Chris D’Agorne MSc

Founder of Rewildr – an organisation devoted to the creation of fun and accessible tools for nature recovery.

Chris created How to Rewild in 2021 for landowners to access rewilding advice and Buy Native in 2023 for gardeners to find native plants.

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