RHS and The Wildlife Trusts announce competition winners
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts have announced Kathryn Entwistle of Chorley, Lancashire as the winner of the new build category in the Big Wildlife Garden Competition.
Kathryn has created a fantastic wildlife garden from the virgin land behind her new build house. Chorley is an environmentally conscious village and so she wanted to ensure that her new garden would add to the community and also to have something her 6 year old daughter could enjoy and learn from.
The garden is only one year old yet it is already attracting dragonflies, frogs, toads and newts and lots of butterflies. Kathryn has planted some native trees, fruit bushes and a wide variety of flowering plants including achilleas, sedums and sunflowers.
All gardens entered in the competition have a variety of features that helped attract wildlife but this wasn’t all that impressed the judges, including TV presenter Sarah Raven and Dr Steve Head from the Wildlife Gardening Forum. Kathryn and the other winners showed outstanding enthusiasm and knowledge of wildlife that the judges found inspiring.
“It was so exciting going through the entries”, says Helen Bostock, RHS wildlife expert and one of the judges. “Those who entered are obviously aware of the important role gardens have for wildlife and the wider natural environment. But those we have chosen had fantastic drive and passion which made them stand out and this helped us pick them as the overall winners.”
Morag Shuaib of The Wildlife Trusts added: “We are thrilled with the entries received – more than 400 from places as far apart as the north of Scotland and to the very south of England in Cornwall. Kathryn’s garden is an excellent example of what can be done by transforming a building site into a piece of land for the benefit of wildlife.”
Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary, said: “Gardening is a great passion of mine and it really shows me the true value of nature. I am delighted to see that so many people have entered the Big Wildlife Garden competition and have been very impressed with the standards shown by the winners.
“Gardening is one of our great British pastimes and this competition has shown the passion people have for creating gardens which work as spaces for families and friends to enjoy as well as being wildlife havens. This competition is a great example of how everyone can help the natural environment to flourish.”
The winning gardens are diverse and were created for different reasons: one began simply as somewhere to enjoy a glass of wine, another because a local community wanted to make something lovely of a rubbish-strewn corner of an allotment; the business winner wanted to provide staff with a refuge to enjoy at lunchtimes. There are one each from Lancashire, North Lincolnshire, West Sussex and West Yorkshire and two in London.
Small residential Thierry Suzanne in London whose transformation of his garden within four years to a haven for wildlife was extraordinary.
Large residential Terry Oliver in West Sussex who has developed a garden that works for wildlife yet at the same time is safe for his young grandchildren.
Business Cemex South Ferriby Cement Plant in North Lincolnshire have taken a small area of wasteland beside a main road and converted it into a community wildlife garden enjoyed by people and animals alike.
Communities Framfield Allotments in London for their novel tackling of an overgrown tangle of brambles and creation of a large pond.
Educational Farsley Springbank Junior School in Pudsey, West Yorkshire for the wide variety of wildlife-friendly features which have helped engage children in the wonders of the natural world.
As part of her prize Kathryn will be attending a wildlife gardening master class at this year’s Ecover-sponsored RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. She will also receive a plaque in recognition of her achievement, a year’s membership to her local Wildlife Trust and RHS, a book on wildlife gardening, bird feed and wildflower seeds.
This competition is funded, as part of its commitment to the Natural Environment White Paper, by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
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Notes for Editors:
For more information and please contact Eoin Redahan from the RHS on 020 7821 3044/ 078 525 36240 or Anna Guthrie from The Wildlife Trusts on 01636 670075 / 07887 754659.
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society (www.rhs.org.uk) is the UK’s foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262
The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is supporting and funding The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) ‘Big Wildlife Garden’ competition to promote the importance of individual action for the natural environment and the benefits it provides for people. The running of this competition is a commitment in the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper that will help to both protect and improve our natural environment and reconnect people with nature.