Sainsbury's has launched a free seed promotion to help shoppers create an attractive environment for bumblebees - and reverse the depletion of bumblebee populations.

The supermarket is offering customers at selected stores a free pack of Operation Bumblebee wildflower seed mix when they buy three packets of Johnsons vegetable seeds.

It is hoping shoppers will do their bit to provide a season-long source of pollen and nectar for bees, as some of its suppliers already have.

Under the scheme, which is being run in conjunction with Syngenta, 300 fresh produce suppliers have established bumblebee habitats on their farms so far. One, leafy salad grower Vitacress, has reported the first sighting of one endangered bee species for 50 years.

The initiative was originally launched in response to research showing that UK bumblebee populations had declined by up to 600%, particularly on farmland.