(Above) Wildlife Garden Awards © Liam Andrews (Below) Wildlife Gardens © Joy Wallis
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT) annual Wildlife Friendly Gardening awards have taken place at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, where gardeners from across the county were all vying to be crowned a winner.
Now in its fifth year, and with the continued support of The Gardens Group, this year’s competition had more entries than ever before. Over 50 gardens were entered, with judges declaring that this year was without doubt the best standard of wildlife friendly gardening the competition had ever seen.
Entries just keep getting better!
Event Organiser and DWT Community Conservation Officer Joy Wallis said: “Year on year, the standard of the entries for the competition improve and this year was the best ever with some truly stunning wildlife gardens. It was great to meet so many dedicated gardeners who were determined to make space and habitats in their gardens for as much wildlife as possible. This is so important with the continued threats to so much of our native wildlife and consequent drop in numbers and variety found in the wider countryside. All entrants, whether or not they received a prize, can be justifiably proud of their achievements.”
Winners of the Best Medium/Large Garden
Margaret and Bob Pearson, winners in the Best Medium/Large Garden category said, “We have always been interested in wildlife. This was our first year entering the competition and we are absolutely delighted to have won. Wildlife friendly gardening is a real passion of ours, and whilst it takes a degree of effort to maintain, the end result is most definitely worth it.”
By making your garden more wildlife friendly, people are in fact creating havens for lots of diverse species of wildlife to enjoy, something Bob has noticed in his garden. “It is becoming increasingly important for people to do more for wildlife within their gardens. We regularly see lots of different types of wildlife enjoying our garden, from butterflies and grasshoppers to voles, shrews and 65 different species of birds- it’s simply wonderful! We like to think of our garden as something of a wildlife corridor and Wildlife Friendly Gardening is a great way of getting more people to make their gardens accessible to all the wonderful wildlife that lives here in Dorset.”
Other winners on the night included Hilary Charlesworth in the Best Patio/Small Garden category, Anthony and Beryl Page in the Best Large Garden category, JP Morgan in the Best Community Garden category and Mark Joynes for Best Improved Garden. Special mention goes to Felicity Lewis who won the Judges Award for Outstanding Wildlife Interest for her meadow.Prizes included gardening products, vouchers and books and of course, a Dorset Wildlife Trust Wildlife Friendly Gardening plaque; all of which were presented by Dr Lionel Smith of Reading University who gave a lecture on the importance of wildlife friendly gardening at the event.
Help the wildlife in your garden
Dorset Wildlife Trust would like to encourage everyone to join our 'Living Record' scheme and record the wildlife they see in their garden