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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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chrismtas-tree

When it comes to Christmas trees, you just can’t beat the real thing. With a huge variety on offer, many of which taking up to 10 years to grow just 2 metres tall, there is simply no comparison with an artificial tree. Bringing their beautiful fragrance and evergreen spikey pine needles into the home, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without those little spikes getting stuck in your socks!

Whether it’s a traditional, luxurious or highly scented tree that you’re after, we have a large selection on offer, including the Norway Spruce, Nordmannn and Fraser Fir, all being delivered next week, and we’ll have regular fresh deliveries right up until 24 December.

When you’re done with your Christmas tree, we will even collect the ones bought from us and recycle them for mulching, composting and other environmental projects, designed to limit erosion and protect wildlife.

Mike

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Daubenton's Bat - Upton Country Park - June 2010

Picture credit: Nick Tomlinson

Tickets are now on sale for Dorset Wildlife Trust’s seventh Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition awards ceremony, which will be held on Thursday 21 July at Castle Gardens. Before this year’s winners are announced, British bat expert, Nick Tomlinson, conservation officer at Somerset Wildlife Trust, will give an interactive talk about the myth, mystery and magic of bats and their important role in the garden. With a look at their behaviour, habitat and role in biodiversity, Nick will give an insight into how these elusive creatures live and how gardeners can give them a warm welcome to help protect them.

Doors open at 6:30pm and tickets are £5 each for non-competition entrants, which includes drinks and canapés in The Walled Garden Restaurant.

Mike

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Honey bee by Ken Dolbear MBE small

Picture credit: Honey bee by Ken Dolbear MBE

If you live in Dorset and have 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 the size of the garden, and this year’s categories include: Small/patio, medium, large, community space and rented accommodation, so everyone can enter.

The closing date for entry is Friday 29 April and the awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 21 July.

You can enter online at http://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife-gardening

Mike

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Hedgehog

From bees and butterflies to hedgehogs and birds, find out about the wildlife in your garden and how to give these visitors a warm welcome.

Poundbury Gardens: Wednesday 17 February
Brimsmore Gardens: Thursday 18 February
Castle Gardens: Friday 19 February

Mike

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After months of judging, Dorset’s most wildlife friendly gardens were announced at Castle Gardens last night. This year 41 keen gardeners entered including schools, museums and individuals from right across the county.

The Judges, which included Dorset Wildlife Trust president, Tony Bates MBE, have been visiting gardens around Dorset since May and it is safe to say the bar continues to be raised. This year extra marks were given to gardeners who provide a particularly inviting haven for pollinating insects.

Before the awards were announced, Dr David Aplin, director of Botanical Values, gave a fascinating talk about the weird and wonderful world of plants that partner with other organisms, including bacteria and fungi.

It’s fantastic to see so many gardeners taking wildlife into consideration and creating some truly inspiring wildlife havens.

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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