Surrey’s Wildest Gardeners Revealed!

Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Wildlife Garden Award winners 2017Wildlife Garden Award winners 2017

Bee hives, compost heaps, hedgehog hotels and even patches of nettles – just some of the wildlife-friendly features that impressed the judges of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Garden Awards 2017. There were nearly 150 entries this year and almost half achieved the top gold award standard.

Gardens, allotments and school grounds can provide vital stepping stones for wildlife...


"People in Surrey are passionate about nature and have created fantastic wildlife havens across the county - it has been a real pleasure to visit so many wonderful gardens to decide who would be this year’s award winners,” said Dawn Fielding, the Trust’s Wildlife Gardening Officer.

“When I visited the gardens I was looking for a range of habitats as this attracts a greater diversity of wildlife. Ponds, fruit trees, herbs, flowers throughout the seasons, hedges and trees, long grass and log piles – variety is definitely the spice of life for wildlife!”

The variety of organisations that took part this year was also encouraging. As well as individual gardeners, there were lots of schools, businesses and community groups - including a fire station, a burial ground and residential homes for the elderly.

Wildlife in Surrey desperately needs a helping hand - The State of Surrey’s Nature Report produced by Surrey Wildlife Trust earlier this year makes alarming reading. Out of a total of 404 priority species 31% are extinct in Surrey, while 37% are threatened or remain in worrying decline. Many species that were once common in our gardens, such as bees, hedgehogs and native birds, are struggling. 

“Wildlife is not confined to islands like nature reserves,” added Dawn.“Gardens, allotments and school grounds can provide vital stepping stones, allowing all kinds of species to move about freely to keep populations healthy. If we all make space for nature where we live and work, it will make a huge difference!”

The eight over-all winners in each category are:

• Schools - Badshot Lea Village School, Farnham

                  Park Mead Primary School, Cranleigh

                  Bus Stop Pre-School Nursery, Polesden Lacey

• Private Garden (Large) - Steve Chowney, West End, Woking

• Private Garden (Medium) - Clare Ritchie, Dorking

• Private Garden (Small) - Annabelle South, Dorking

• Business - Toyota (GB) PLC Headquarters, Epsom

• Community Garden - The Therapy Gardens, Normandy

All entrants whose garden qualified received a bronze, silver or gold certificate declaring their garden to be officially a wildlife haven. Gold award winners were also presented with a special commemorative plaque and the best gardens won a £50 Squire’s Garden Centres voucher.

“At Squire’s Garden Centres we appreciate how important gardens can be for the wellbeing of our native wildlife and many of our customers do too,” said Sarah Squire, Deputy Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, which sponsored the competition.

“Many are specifically selecting plants which are useful to wildlife - this great news, but there’s clearly more to do. So we are delighted to be working closely with the Surrey Wildlife Trust to encourage more wildlife into people’s gardens.”

The Wildlife Garden Award 2017 is part of the Trust’s ‘Wild About Gardens’ campaign, working with the RHS to encourage wildlife friendly gardening. It forms part the Trust’s vision for a ‘Living Landscape’, which aims to provide a network of natural habitats so that wildlife can thrive and move across our landscape. Find out how to help wildlife in your garden here >>

The Trust has also created a Wildlife Gardening Top Tips video, packed with ideas and inspiration to help make your garden a haven for nature. Created by Relevant Films, the video can be viewed here. Wildlife gardening booklets offering a host of great, simple ideas are also available through the Trust’s online shop for £6 each.

Tagged with: Business, Living Landscapes, Wildlife gardening