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Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife friendly gardening’

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This morning we were given the wonderful news that Plankbridge received a four-star award for its wildlife friendly tradestand exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The beautiful Victorian-inspired shepherd’s hut, which was lovingly built in Piddlehinton, is surrounded with some of the season’s best pollinator-friendly plants, including Foxgloves, Bugloss and Primula beesiana, which Nicky and the team have been carefully nurturing in the polytunnels at Castle Gardens.

Wildlife friendly gardening is something that we love to champion and encourage gardeners of all ages to embrace, so we jumped at the chance to help Plankbridge create this wildlife friendly space alongside the Dorset Wildlife Trust Forest School, who built two bug hotels for the exhibit. We wish Richard and Jane all the best for the rest of the week and hope that their efforts will inspire visitors to think about wildlife when they are planning their gardens.

The Plankbridge Wildlife Watch shepherd’s hut will be on display at Tradestand AR586 from Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 May 2017.

Mike

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While judging gardens for the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Gardening Awards earlier in the year, we visited Southwell Smiley Faces Pre-School in Portland to judge its Out of School Club’s entry. The work that Jenny Whyton and her team have done is fantastic, creating not only a safe environment for children to learn, grow and garden, but also a haven for wildlife, so much so that it scooped them first place in the Community Garden category.

This wonderful outdoor classroom, which is also home to many bees, bugs, butterflies and birds, is due to be sold to housing developers, which means that all of the wonderful work that Jenny and the children have carried out will be dug up and replaced by houses. Jenny is doing all she can to try and retain this plot, despite the development work planned, but needs as much support as possible to show how valuable this space is, not only for the children’s learning but also to the wildlife thriving in it.

To show your support for this cause, you can complete the survey here and the results will then be presented to the local council.

Mike

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On Thursday 21 July, Dorset’s most wildlife friendly gardens were honoured at Castle Gardens. Dorset Wildlife Trust’s annual Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition, which is sponsored by The Gardens Group, saw 43 entries this year, from schools, visitor centres and tourist attractions around the county. A new category was added in 2016 for rented accommodation, to promote the idea that everyone can provide a more welcoming habitat for wildlife, without necessarily making structural changes to the garden.

Mike

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Honey bee by Ken Dolbear MBE

Honey bee by Ken Dolbear MBE

On Thursday 30 July Dorset’s most wildlife friendly gardens will be celebrated at the Dorset Wildlife Trust Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition Awards Ceremony, being held at Castle Gardens from 6:30pm. As well as championing the best gardens in each category throughout the county, we are very lucky to have guest speaker Dr David Aplin, director at Botanical Values, who will talk about how plants don’t grow in isolation and are in fact reliant on other organisms, such as fungi, insects and other plants, to thrive.

There will be light refreshments in The Walled Garden from 6:30pm before the awards are announced from 7pm. Tickets are £5 each and are available at all of our garden centres and from Briony Baxter on 01305 264620 or at BBaxter@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk.

Mike

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Wildlife loving gardeners are now invited to enter the fifth annual Dorset Wildlife Trust Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition. If you’ve created a wildlife haven in your garden, then why not enter this year’s competition and share your success with us? Marks are given for wildlife provisions, no matter what size the garden of the garden, there are five categories, including small/patio, medium, large and community, as well as a best improved entry for previous winners. You can pick up an entry form from any one of our garden centres or by emailing Joy Wallis at jwallis@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk.

Following the government’s publication of the National Pollinator Strategy this year, judges will be keeping their eyes out for people who are making special provisions for pollinating insects, such as lots of nectar and pollen-rich plants, bee houses and other special habitats, and not to mention keeping records of the pollinators that they see.

All entrants will get feedback and suggestions on how to improve the wildlife friendliness of their gardens and will be invited to the awards ceremony at Castle Gardens on Thursday 30 July. This year we are pleased to announce that our 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.

The closing date for entering the Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition is Friday 22 May 2015.

Good luck!

Mike

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As we start thinking about putting up the Christmas tree, ordering the turkey and stocking up on cheese, crackers and wine, we must spare a thought for wildlife. Hedgehogs, bees and birds don’t have the luxury of battening down the hatches and nipping to the green grocer for more Brussel sprouts when they’ve run out. This week, we’ve invited James Haldane from Dorset Wildlife Trust, to guest blog and remind us of what we can do in our gardens to provide welcoming and safe habitats this winter.

Mike

Last year’s The State of Nature report presented us with a problem. UK wildlife is struggling in a big way, with over half of our species in decline and even some that we face losing forever. Hedgehogs are in decline. Bees are in decline. Song thrushes are in decline. And so on, and so on. At first glance, this all seems to be rather overwhelming. Is there anything that we can do to help?

It is part of my job to realise that things really can change when lots of people all do the same thing – however small. With over 15 million gardens UK-wide, covering a larger area than all national nature reserves combined, it seems clear to me that there’s a possible solution. Maybe we can all do something extra for wildlife with whatever outside space is available to us.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is running a wildlife gardening campaign called Make Wildlife Welcome to encourage, what I’m starting to call, some domestic conservation across the county. We’re equipping our supporters with a fun and effective starter pack, including the fantastic The Wildlife Gardener book and easy-to-use, bee-friendly seedballs. In return, we’re asking for a monthly donation of £3 or more, which entitles each new supporter to full membership of Dorset Wildlife Trust. Funds raised are going towards our own conservation work, looking after some of Dorset’s most important habitats and wildlife-friendly places.

150 supporters have pledged their support so far, and we’d love you to join them. Visit our webpages to find out more about the campaign and to pledge your support.

James Haldane, Membership Manager at Dorset Wildlife Trust.

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