(Above) Caroline Perget and Mark Hutchinson’s ‘Best Mid-sized garden’ competition winner 2013 © Caroline Perget
(Below) Angela and Alby Patterson’s ‘best improved’ garden competition winner 2013 © Joy Wallis
Wildlife urgently need space in the gardens of Dorset and the launch of Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT) Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition aims to recognise those who make a contribution to wildlife in even the smallest of gardens.
Now in its fifth year, the competition which is sponsored by The Gardens Group, includes recognition for any kind of garden, big or small, which has created a haven for wildlife. Methods to make a garden ‘wildlife friendly’ can include small changes such as planting more flowers to provide food for bees and butterflies, to installing a small pond to create habitats for amphibians such as common frogs, toads and newts.
Gardens are an important refuge for wildlife
Competition organiser and Community Conservation Officer for DWT, Joy Wallis said: “Conservationists are increasingly concerned about the decreasing diversity in wildlife around us and fully acknowledge the importance of gardens in providing stepping stones and refuges for much of our wildlife. This competition is not necessarily looking for pristine gardens, but extra credit will be given to how you support wildlife. We would like people to see their garden as the heart of their home, providing a safe place for hundreds of wildlife species to thrive and flourish.”
How to enter
Categories include the following gardens: patio or small (less than 100 square metres); medium, large, community or school, and best improved garden from last year’s winners. Entrants are encourage to send in photos of their wildlife features, such as a nectar-rich border, bird feeders, pond or bath, native trees, hedge and long grass areas.
Winners will receive a plaque, and there are wildlife-friendly prizes for the runners up and for every school that enters the competition, which have been kindly donated by The Gardens Group.
The closing date for entries is 19th May 2014 and the award ceremony will be held at Castle Gardens in Sherborne in July, which includes a talk about grass free lawns. For entry forms and guidance notes click here or contact Joy Wallis on 01305 264620 or email for more information.
Notes to Editor
Ways to make your garden wildlife friendly include:
• Wildlife Pond
• Bog or permanently wet area
• Bird bath
• Bird Box
• Wild flower meadow
• Long grass area
• Nectar rich flower border and bushes
• Mixed Native Hedge
• Mature native tree
• Log pile and/or substantial decaying tree stump
• Compost heap
• No-go area
• Climbing plants/trellises suitable for nesting and feeding
• Slug pellet free
For more information please contact Joy Wallis or Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.