Top Tips for an Award-Winning Wildlife Garden!

Tuesday 12th July 2016

Wildlife gardening in Redhill

The Trust has put together a Wildlife Gardening Top Tips video, packed with ideas and inspiration to help make your garden a haven for nature.

Gardens are on the front line of our battle to save nature...

Created by Relevant Films, the video can be found here >>.

It's all part of our Wildlife Garden Award 2016. We've joined forces with Squire’s Garden Centres for this year's competition. It’s free to enter and open to any type of garden in Surrey - regardless of size.

The best wildlife friendly spaces offer food, water, shelter. Here are The Trust’s five top tips on how to make your garden a little bit wilder:

• Make a pond or water feature to create a wildlife haven
• Plant native shrubs and trees to provide berries and fruit to feed the birds
• Plant nectar-rich flowers to attract butterflies and bees
• Build a compost heap to recycle your garden waste
• Create woodpiles and bug hotels for slow worms and invertebrates

“Gardens are on the front line of our battle to save nature,” said the Trust’s Wildlife Gardening Officer Dawn Fielding. “They provide stepping stones throughout our towns and villages so that wildlife can move around. All gardens can be adapted in some way to make space for nature and small changes can make a big difference. 

“You don’t need a big garden to take part - balconies, allotments, front gardens, schools and business grounds can all be fantastic havens for wildlife.”

But sadly wildlife is being pushed out of Surrey’s gardens, as many gardeners become less tolerant of weeds - using more pesticides and covering the ground with decking, gravel and patios.

Wildlife that was once common in our backyards in now under serious threat. The British bee population has fallen by a third since 2007. In the last 10 years hedgehog numbers have fallen by 30% - they’re disappearing from our landscape as fast as tigers are worldwide. Many of our urban birds are also in decline - including the house sparrow and swift.

There are five Wildlife Garden Award categories:
• Private garden (small, medium & large)
• Balcony/small space
• Community garden/allotment
• School
• Business

Last year’s schools winner was Lorraine School in Camberley, which has a wonderful wildlife garden run by volunteer gardener Victor Ludkin. Its garden includes bug homes, bird houses, log piles, a pond, a wildflower meadow, fruit trees and a reptile hibernaculum.

Colesmead Allotment in Redhill is another fantastic example of the community getting together to garden for wildlife – especially for bees. A wildflower meadow has been planted, along with a native hedgerow, orchard and raised flower and herb beds. Bee hives have also been set up.

The competition is open from now until the end of July 2016 and the best gardens will win a £50 Squire’s Garden Centre voucher. Any entrant whose garden qualifies will receive a bronze, silver or gold certificate declaring that their garden is officially a wildlife haven. Gold award winners will also be presented with a commemorative plaque.

Sarah Squire, Deputy Chairman at Squire’s Garden Centres said: “We are delighted to support the Surrey Wildlife Trust, as we believe that it is so important that people encourage wildlife into their gardens. I look forward to seeing photos showing what people have done in their gardens to encourage wildlife, and to presenting prizes to the winners of the Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Garden Award.”

To enter this year’s Wildlife Garden Award and for further tips on how to turn your garden into a wildlife haven click here>>. Wildlife gardening packs offering a host of good, simple ideas are also available through the Trust’s online shop for £6 each or FREE if you join Surrey Wildlife Trust as a new member before July 31st.

Tagged with: Living Landscapes, Outdoor learning, Wildlife gardening