Following the release of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) National Pollinator Strategy, a campaign aiming to bring about the best possible conditions for bees and other insects to flourish, judges of this year’s Wildlife Friendly Garden competition will give extra credit to entrants who provide a particularly inviting haven for pollinating insects.
The annual competition, which is organised by Dorset Wildlife Trust and sponsored by The Gardens Group, has always championed Dorset gardeners who attract wildlife, no matter what the size of their space. This year judges will be looking out for nectar-rich plants, bee houses, log piles and other special habitats, as well as a record of the pollinators that visit the garden.
Entry for the Wildlife Friendly Garden competition, now in its fifth year closes on Friday 22 May and the winning gardens will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 30 July at Castle Gardens in Sherborne. Everyone is welcome to the awards ceremony and this year’s guest speaker will be Dr David Aplin, director of Botanical Values, who will be talking about the weird and wonderful world of plants that partner with other organisms.
Joy Wallis, community conservation officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, explains; “Gardens are often far less toxic to insects than the intensively farmed countryside, and we want to encourage all gardeners to think of their gardens as havens for pollinating insects.”
Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group adds; “Pollinators are extremely important for maintaining biodiversity and also in supporting food production. Thankfully you don’t need a huge garden to create a wildlife haven, that’s why we have different categories for garden size and even for community spaces.”
For more information about entering the Wildlife Friendly Garden competition, please visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk.