Dig deep for wildlife in new contest

Laura Lowther, Chair of Northumberland Wildlife Trust Green Team wildlife gardening.
Laura Lowther, Chair of Northumberland Wildlife Trust Green Team wildlife gardening.

GREEN-FINGERED Northumberland residents can dig deep for wildlife in a new national competition.

The Big Wildlife Garden contest is being run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and 47 wildlife trusts in the UK, including Northumberland.

It encourages people to do wildlife gardening on their doorstep, no matter how small their space, and anyone can take part, including businesses, schools and community groups.

Entries can range from window boxes to school playing fields or retail parks.

The six categories are small residential garden, large residential garden, new residential garden, educational garden, community garden and business garden.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust Chief Executive Mike Pratt said: “The UK’s wildlife is under pressure from loss of habitat, however we can all make a difference by gardening with wildlife in mind.

“I would love to see nature reserves around the region being connected throughout the UK via pockets of healthy habitat within the wider landscape, in both urban and rural areas. Clearly, gardens are an essential part of this vision.

“The Big Wildlife Garden competition is a great way to raise awareness of the role we can all play in becoming nature’s guardians.

“Twenty years ago people didn’t give much thought to the importance of gardens for UK wildlife, but we now know how vital they are.”

The competition is being funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Prizes include a wildlife gardening masterclass at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and membership of the wildlife trusts and RHS.

Entries are free and can be submitted until Sunday, May 20, 2012, at www.bigwildlifegarden.org.uk

Northumberland Wildlife Trust has a Guide To Wildlife Gardening pack available online at www.nwt.org.uk