Business Support of Wildlife Recognised

RHS and The Wildlife Trusts announce competition winners
by RHS
July 8, 2012

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts have announced Cemex South Ferriby Cement Plant as the winner in the business category of the Big Wildlife Garden Competition.

Alan Jones has worked with local volunteers to turn a small area of wasteland into a workplace garden which has become a haven for wildlife.

Members of the team are proud of what they've achieved not only for their staff and local wildlife but also for the wider community as the garden is open to the public. With the help of a group of dedicated volunteers a small overgrown and inaccessible area has been turned into a thriving garden, enjoyed by people and animals alike.

The entrants to the business category have shown that any business, whether large or small, can make a big contribution to their local wildlife.

As well as being a haven for wildlife, workplace gardens allow businesses to reap huge benefits in terms of increased motivation and opportunities for team building. For employees, they are a place to relax and recharge in natural surroundings.

All gardens entered in the competition have a variety of features that help to 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. Cemex and the other winners showed outstanding enthusiasm and knowledge of wildlife which the judges found inspiring.

"The entries to the business category were very high," says Helen Bostock, RHS wildlife expert and one of the judges. It is encouraging to see that all of the entrants are obviously aware of the important role that workplace gardens have for both wildlife and staff."

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 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."

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. I have been truly impressed by the work done by Cemex South Ferriby Cement Plant. The volunteers enjoyment over creating their wildlife haven shone through in their entry."

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.

New residential Kathryn Entwistle of Chorley in Lancashire created a fantastic wildlife garden from the virgin land behind her new build. 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.

The type of features that appeared in most of the winning gardens included ponds, bird feeders, plants that attract insects, wild flower areas and green roofs.

As part of their prize, representatives of Cemex South Ferriby Cement Plant will be attending a wildlife gardening master class at this year's Ecover-sponsored RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. They will also receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement, a year's membership of their 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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