Dorset applauds its champions of nature

Company: The Gardens Group

On Thursday 25 July, Dorset’s most wildlife friendly gardeners were revealed at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, during Dorset Wildlife Trust’s 10th annual Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition awards ceremony. Sponsored by The Gardens Group, the award scheme reached more gardeners than ever before this year with a record-breaking 73 gardens judged, as the Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition linked up with Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Get Dorset Buzzing Campaign, a free initiative helping gardeners of all levels to encourage more wildlife into their gardens.

The awards were presented by Dorset Wildlife Trust president, Dr George McGavin, who also gave an entertaining and engaging talk about why everyone should care about wildlife in their gardens. Talking about the importance of how insects are integral for ecology and biodiversity, George advised that when gardeners provide food and habitats for pollinators, invertebrates and insects in their gardens, then pest control will take care of itself without the need for chemicals.

Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, explains: “Since the competition started 10 years ago, we have judged around 700 gardens, which is an encouraging sign that people are taking responsibility for the way they interact with wildlife at home. Every year the standard of entries rises, as gardeners of all ages and levels of experience come up with creative ways to build an oasis for themselves and any wildlife visitors. Far from the days when us wildlife enthusiasts were a rare and misunderstood breed who felt like they should meet in secret, gardening with wildlife in mind is now more popular than ever, and initiatives like Get Dorset Buzzing are a fantastic way to feed this enthusiasm. As gardeners, we collectively have the potential to make a huge impact on Dorset’s natural environment and the creatures that live within it, so it’s incredibly fulfilling to see just how far we’ve come over the past decade.”

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
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