A two-year pilot study by the University of Sussex found that volunteer urban growers in Brighton and Hove were able to harvest 1kg of insect-pollinated fruit and vegetables per sq metre in a season – which researchers said put their yields within the range of conventional farms.

Across the two-year period, volunteers recorded more than 2,000 pollinating insects among their crops. The most common were bees, which accounted for 43% of all flower visits.

The research aims to demonstrate the value of urban food production and how it could be used to reduce food deserts by growing food “closer to where people are” while also reducing food miles and transportation costs.

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