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bee on wildflower

The Wildlife Gardens Awards

Applications Now Open for the Wildlife Gardens Awards in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

The Wildlife Gardens Awards, aimed at celebrating and encouraging wildlife-friendly outdoor spaces, are now officially open for applications. Running from April 1st to July 31st annually, this volunteer-led initiative run by the local ‘Wilds’ groups invites residents, workers, and students in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to showcase their efforts in supporting local wildlife, biodiversity, and sustainability.

The Wildlife Gardens Awards, which are free to enter, promote 24 simple and cost-effective features that enhance outdoor spaces for wildlife. These features include providing food, shelter, water, and adopting environmentally friendly gardening practices.

Participants are encouraged to incorporate wildlife-friendly elements such as nectar-rich flowers, bird-feeding stations, wildlife ponds, and avoiding the use of pesticides and chemical weed killers. The awards offer three levels of recognition: Bronze, Silver, and Gold, depending on the number and variety of wildlife-friendly features implemented in the garden.

strawberry plants

Wild Maidenhead President and BBC Gardeners’ Question Time host Peter Gibbs commented “Making your garden wildlife-friendly doesn’t mean you have to let it run wild! A well-maintained garden can still provide plenty of useful habitat and it’s incredibly rewarding to watch nature respond when you give it a helping hand.”

Maria Evans, Chair of Wild Maidenhead, explains why wildlife friendly gardens are so important “Gardens make up just under 5% of urban green space in England. If we all put wildlife at the heart of our gardens, allotments, balconies, office courtyards and shared green spaces then we will be supporting biodiversity and helping to address the impact of climate change on nature.”

To enter the Wildlife Gardens Awards, applicants are invited to visit the official website at www.wildlifegardensawards.org where you will also find lots of useful tips on how to make your garden wildlife friendly. The submission period will remain open until July 31st, providing ample time for participants to showcase their wildlife-friendly gardens.

pond with lily pad

“This award is for everyone who puts wildlife at the heart of their outdoor spaces.  All entrants who qualify will receive a certificate, and every entrant will be acknowledged,” Maria continued. “We aim to recognise and celebrate the efforts of individuals and communities in creating vibrant habitats for local wildlife.”

They are delighted this year to be supporting the Garden in Bloom Competition, managed by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM), and sponsored by Housing Solutions, Berkeley Group and Silva Homes. This scheme recognises gardens which help to brighten up their neighbourhoods, and they believe that a beautiful garden and wildlife-friendly spaces go hand in (gardening) glove with each other. You can nominate your own garden or someone else’s. The only criteria is the garden must be visible from a pavement or road within our borough. As well as entering for the Wildlife Gardens Awards, please consider submitting a nomination too for the RBWM Garden in Awards Scheme at www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/community-and-living/garden-bloom by noon on 31 July

For more information, please contact Lisa Hunter at lisa.hunter@ljhconsulting.co.uk or visit www.wildlifegardensawards.org