Return of the wildlife friendly garden competition
Tuesday 5th April 2016
(Above) Wildlife friendly pond © Briony Baxter
The Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition, run by Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) and sponsored by the Gardens Group of Sherborne and Poundbury, is returning for its seventh year.
The competition aims to recognise gardeners who have gone the extra mile to care for their garden and the wildlife in it. Anyone can enter the competition – whether you are an individual, school group or community group, with a big or small garden.
What you do in your garden is crucial for wildlife
DWT Community Conservation Officer and Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition event organiser explains more: “The total area of gardens in Britain is larger than the total area of national parks, so what you do in your garden is crucial. You don’t even have to be a ‘gardener’ to make a wildlife garden! There are some very small, simple changes you can make that will make a big difference to wildlife. This competition is always really popular, and now for the first time you can apply online, so we’re looking forward to receiving lots of entries!”
Each year the bar is raised
Mike Burks, Managing Director of The Gardens Group, said, “Each year the bar is raised, as previous entrants use the judges’ feedback to make improvements that mean their gardens are even more wildlife friendly. We also see many new entrants each year, as more people continue to become inspired by how much they can do to help protect our wildlife. The competition is all about encouraging everyone to do their best to nurture wildlife in their gardens, no matter how large or small, and I take great pleasure in seeing how much impact our wildlife friendly gardeners are having.”
Extra marks will be given to gardens with features to help pollinators
Judges who will visit the gardens shortlisted, will be looking to see how much thought and effort has been put into creating habitats for wildlife. Features such as a pond, a bird box, a long grass area, or a compost heap are just some ideas to help garden wildlife. This year extra marks will be given to gardens with features to help pollinators, such as nectar-rich plants and to those who garden in the most sustainable way, by recycling, not using pesticides or creating a compost.
There is also a special category for rented properties and Housing Association Tennents, who may not be able to make structural changes to their garden, but are still gardening for wildlife.
Entries close on 29th April 2016 (now extended to 13 May!) - Enter online now!
Entries to the competition close on 29th April 2016 (now extended to 13th May 2016!). All entries are free, and you can apply online here. Everyone who enters* will be invited to an awards ceremony at Castle Gardens in Sherborne (date to be announced). Prizes kindly donated by the Gardens Group include a wildlife friendly selection of products, gardening vouchers, books and a winners’ plaque.
Wildlife Gardening course
Join wildlife gardening expert Briony Baxter at the Kingcombe Centre for a wildlife gardening workshop from Monday 6th June – Thursday 9th June 2016 for a tour of the best wildlife gardens in Dorset. Visit the Kingcombe website to find out more and book.
*Everyone who enters the Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition will automatically apply to receive a DWT Wildlife Friendly Garden plaque, in recognition of their contribution to helping wildlife in their gardens.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life.
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.
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