Wanted – A Volunteer to Organize Woking Wildlife Garden Competition 2015

Last year Woking staged its first Best Wildlife Garden Competition, in which I had the pleasure of discovering some wonderful wildlife gardens. Sadly this year I will not be resident in Woking during the summer, so I’m hoping someone else might take over the responsibility of organizing this enjoyable and worthwhile event. It can be advertised through Woking in Bloom, though it is a good idea to use as many media channels as possible to promote it, and I’m quite willing to offer support and advice to anyone, who wishes to take it on. It is really not too onerous a task, as I can show you the judging sheets we used last year, and then it is simply a matter of finding a day convenient for yourself and the two judges, and taking them round to view the gardens. Both of last year’s judges said they would be willing to perform the same role this year, and both Andrew Halstead (retired entomologist at the RHS) and Frances Halstead (retired Community Engagement Officer for the Surrey Wildlife Trust) are very supportive with a vast wealth of knowledge and experience.

It is the competitors however, that really make the judging day such a rewarding one. Finding out how others have created habitats and what species they have managed to lure to their gardens is both educational and inspirational. At a time when the loss of habitats and species is accelerating at an alarming rate, wildlife gardens can play a vital role in helping to restore some kind of natural balance. A whole new attitude and outlook opens up, when you begin to garden not just for yourself but also for the native species that can find homes or feeding stations within your little haven of biodiversity. Promoting wildlife gardening is one of the simplest ways of encouraging more wildlife within an area, and staging a Best Wildlife Garden Competition is a fun and entertaining way of assisting such a process. If anyone out there is at all interested in taking over these reins and getting to see some fascinating gardens, please email me at charles.barber13@gmail.com . Wildlife gardeners need all the encouragement they can get, so I hope someone will be willing to take this on. You do not have to be any sort of expert yourself to organize the event. You merely need a computer, an interest in conservation and a reasonable degree of enthusiasm.

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