Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition breaks records and celebrates 10-year anniversary

The 2019 winners of the Wildlife Friendly Gardening competition © Sally Welbourn

Last night, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) and the Gardens Group celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition at the Castle Gardens garden centre, in Sherborne. The event was extra-special, as following the success of the Get Dorset Buzzing campaign, the competition received the highest number of entrants in its 10-year history.

Keen gardeners with a passion for wildlife gathered for an evening of celebration and were delighted to meet DWT’s President, expert entomologist and television presenter, Dr George McGavin.  George gave an insightful talk about the importance and plight of pollinators and insects and presented the winners with their prizes.  

George said, “It’s been so inspiring to meet so many people who are looking after pollinators and other wildlife in their gardens in Dorset.  The work they’re doing is making a real difference to wildlife, but we all need to play our part.  Even if it’s making a small change, there’s something we can all do to help.”

Mike Burks, Director of the Gardens Group said, “We have been lucky enough to see over 750 gardens in Dorset in the 10 years this competition has been running.  Each year the standard has improved as people are finding ever more innovative and sophisticated ways to help wildlife in their gardens.  Wildlife gardening is more popular than ever, and we’re pleased to sponsor the Get Dorset Buzzing campaign run by Dorset Wildlife Trust, which is a great way to spread the message of the importance of wildlife gardening on the environment.”

The Get Dorset Buzzing campaign which was launched in March this year, now has nearly 4,000 pledges from people in Dorset and beyond, to do at least one thing in their gardens to help pollinators.  It’s the biggest campaign ever run by Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Imogen Davenport, Director of Conservation for Dorset Wildlife Trust said, “The Get Dorset Buzzing campaign is a stepping stone for people who want to do something for wildlife, and the wildlife friendly gardening competition is a great opportunity to recognise those who are already doing something extra in their gardens. We hope that the people who have just started creating their gardens feel able to enter the competition next year!”

To sign up to Get Dorset Buzzing and collect your free wildflower seed packet, visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/gdb-signup.

Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition award winners 2019

Large gardens

First place: Clare Cavanagh, Bridport

Second place: Valerie Baker, Wimborne

Third place: Phillipa Bush, Dorchester

Medium gardens

First place: Jacqui Warder, Puddletown

Second place: Tony Gale, East Burton

Third place: Jeremy Powne, Dorchester

Small gardens

First place: Penny Smith, Swanage

Second place: Amy Namock, Wimborne

Third place: Carole Irving, Maiden Newton

Highly commended: Denise Montague, Blandford Forum

Community gardens

First place: Vanessa Henman, St Nicholas & St Laurence School, Weymouth

Second place: Mark Horsford, Michael House, Bournemouth

Third place: Jim Gardner, Poole

Highly Commended: Rob Clarke, The Mead Wildlife Area, Spetisbury

Highly Commended: Stuart and Jo, Bloomfield Camping, Blandford Forum