The Wildlife Trusts at Ecobuild
Monday 19th March 2012
Image credit: Paul Hobson
Businesses that support the birds and the bees have a chance to prove their green credentials at Ecobuild, with The Wildlife Trusts.
In partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, and with funding from Defra, The Wildlife Trusts are running the Big Wildlife Garden competition. With categories embracing a diverse range of garden types from green roofs to residential window boxes, the competition aims to demonstrate the action we can all take to improve our natural environment for wildlife through gardening.
At the Ecobuild Biodiversity Pavilion The Wildlife Trusts will be on hand to help with the simple online registration process for the competition and will be encouraging visitors to the stand to enter the business category.
Around the UK, local Wildlife Trusts are working with businesses to bring wildlife friendly spaces into developments, with inspirational results. Partnership working between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and developer Hope Homes resulted in wildlife gardens being incorporated into the show homes for a brand new housing development in Knockroon, East Ayrshire.
Scottish Wildlife Trust Director of Conservation Jonny Hughes said:
“An ordinary garden, with some wildlife friendly alterations, can make a huge contribution to protecting wildlife. Our wildlife faces a number of threats but wildlife friendly gardens, like the ones we designed in Knockroon, are refuges where nature can thrive. Gardening with wildlife in mind also creates beautiful places where we can be in close contact with nature, a much needed tonic for so many people in our increasingly frenetic world.
“These gardens aren’t just great for the people living with them; they are improving the environment for the whole area. Green spaces help prevent flooding after heavy downpours by slowing run-off, whilst trees and native plants filter air pollutants and break up wind tunnel effects making for a more pleasant living environment.”
Morag Shuaib, The Wildlife Trusts’ Big Wildlife Garden Awards Project Manager, said: “With wildlife under increasing pressure, it’s important we are restoring and creating habitat throughout urban and rural areas. Within every development there is potential to include space for wildlife, and gardens are an essential element of this.
“There are some exceptional examples of businesses and developers acting as custodians for wildlife. The Big Wildlife Garden competition is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate these examples, and hopefully to inspire others to take action in the process.”
The closing date for the Big Wildlife Garden competition is 20 May 2012. Entry is free and can be done online at www.bigwildlifegarde.org.uk. Prizes include a wildlife gardening masterclass at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where the prize-giving ceremony will take place.
The Big Wildlife Garden competition
The Big Wildlife Garden Competition (www.bigwildlifegarden.org.uk) has been created to recognise the importance of individuals’ action for nature, and the benefits it brings to people. It was launched in August 2011, alongside the England Biodiversity Strategy by Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The department is funding the competition, and has appointed The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society to run it. Prizes include a wildlife gardening masterclass at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where the prize-giving ceremony will take place, along with membership of The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society.
In July 2011, The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society joined together to take over the Big Wildlife Garden website, previously run by the Government’s conservation adviser, Natural England.