(Above, southern Hawker dragonfly by K Wilkinson. Below, Green orb-weaver spider and soldier beetle by Mike Grimsey)
It took just five hours for Dorset Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers to identify over 100 wildlife species recently at Wimborne’s Knoll Gardens
From stag beetles to tree bees, hornet hoverflies to holly blue butterflies and dunnocks to buzzards, the survey revealed a thriving wildlife community of 103 species, an increase of nearly 30% since the garden’s first annual survey last year.
The survey was part of a programme of research carried out on behalf of the Knoll Gardens Foundation. A charity that promotes responsible gardening, the Foundation believes that the simple act of creating beautiful outdoor spaces encourages us all to spend more time enjoying and experiencing the natural world. That enjoyment leads naturally to an appreciation of the wildlife that inevitably moves in to share our gardens with us.
"Wildlife to thrive alongside people"
Nicky Hoar, Learning and Interpretation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said, “This survey not only improves our knowledge of wildlife in Dorset but also demonstrates how important gardens are for wildlife. We have been particularly impressed with the range of insect species found at Knoll Gardens and many of our own gardens could be similar havens on a smaller scale. It demonstrates perfectly what we are working for in The Great Heath project, where gardens large and small, other open spaces and nature reserves combine to create a larger Living Landscape for wildlife to thrive alongside people.”
Bob Sweet, Chairman of the Knoll Gardens Foundation said, “I am delighted so many DWT experts and volunteers could give up their valuable time to help with this important species count. We value it as a kind of annual health check and it is gratifying to know that we have a thriving wildlife community in the garden; it’s a real endorsement of Knoll’s renowned naturalistic gardening style”.
Knoll Gardens opens from Tuesday Saturday, 10am 4pm and is brown signed from all major routes into Wimborne. For more information on the work of the Foundation go to www.knollgardensfoundation.org
The Great Heath
The Great Heath is an ambitious partnership programme to develop an urban living landscape across south east Dorset. The Great Heath is an historical name for the vast heath that used to stretch from Purbeck to the New Forest. Much has now disappeared, but the remnants, with its scattered heaths, grasslands, woodlands, rivers, ponds, harbours and other urban green spaces and gardens still make up an amazing wildlife resource, with significant areas of national and international importance and have been described by Natural England as one of the most important areas for wildlife in the country.
More information: www.thegreatheath.org
The Knoll Gardens Foundation
Is a charity registered in England and Wales, Charity no: 1159390
The Knoll Gardens Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees:
Bob Sweet (Chair), Horticultural Director, River Street Events (Gardeners’ World Live) and former RHS Director of Shows and Development.
Neil Lucas MI (Hort), owner, Knoll Gardens and RHS Council member.
Amanda Walker, FRSA, specialist in horticultural marketing.
Ross Humphrey, Nursery Manager, Knoll Gardens.
Peter Gear, retired pharmacist.
Colin Clark, National Trust horticulturalist.