Wildlife Gardening at Work Winners

New wildflower meadow at Downing College

The awards have just been made to all the winners in our Wildlife Gardening at Work competition - congratulations to them and thanks to all who entered

The Wildlife Trust’s 2019 Wildlife Gardening at Work competition - to find the best wildlife spaces at work - received many stunning entries this year, and the awards have recently been announced. The increasingly popular awards encourage and recognise companies and their employees who help make a real difference for wildlife at their place of work.

Judge Bernard Hunt, expert wildlife gardener from Hunts Wildlife Landscapes, was hugely impressed by all the dedicated hard work giving nature a helping hand. The standard of entries was very high and winners were each awarded copies of the Wildlife Gardening for Everyone and Everything by Kate Bradbury in association with the RHS and the Wildlife Trusts, published 2019 by Bloomsbury Wildlife.

The awards were made at Downing College Cambridge, where the Master's wife Vicky Ambery-Smith welcomed the team. The Trust's Corporate Partnerships Development Manager Sue Barnard said: “It's been wonderful to see the great initiatives that are being put in place to help wildlife – many thanks to all who entered and congratulations to the prize winners – to whom we awarded Kate Bradbury's inspirational book. Many thanks also to our Judge, Bernard Hunt, of Hunts Wildlife Landscapes.

The award for Best Wildlife Garden at Work was scooped by Downing College Cambridge - since last year’s highly commended entry, staff have worked really hard to implement a host of new features and improvements for wildlife such as meadow areas, feeders and diverse planting. The college demonstrates a real commitment to creating an environment for the benefit of the whole college community, as well as the visiting and residential wildlife.

Jesus College Cambridge won the Best Wildlife Sighting at Work award, for fabulous video footage of a resident water vole taking nesting material into its burrow (see below), a truly rare sight, captured by librarian Rhona Watson early one morning on her way to work. The judge also highly commended the College for its work in developing the site to encourage wildlife – welcome new features such as a wildlife pond and more wildflower areas are perfect for encouraging different species into the grounds.

Head Gardener Paul Stearn said: “We are thrilled to receive this award as recognition not only for the hard work we put in towards attracting wildlife into the college but it also highlights the huge variety of fauna and flora that we manage on site.”

 

Water vole at Jesus College by Rhona Watson

Downing College also won the category of Best Use of Recycled Materials for Wildlife at Work: a beautifully crafted bug hotel perfectly demonstrates that objects can not only be given a new lease of life, but can also be incredibly useful. The attractive structure would complement any outdoor space and will no doubt support a wide variety of insects before long. Head Gardener Jack Sharp said: “We are delighted to have won two awards, which serves to highlight our commitment to create an environment which has a positive impact for our Fellows, students, and everyone who visits. We will continue to develop and use environmentally friendly practices and make improvements to the site.”

And the Best Wildlife Sighting at Granta Park (by employees based on the site) was won by Darren Bast, with a stunning photo of an orange tip butterfly. Darren said: “This is my first ever competition win so I'm delighted. It’s photos like this which are worth all the hours that I put in walking around Granta Park rummaging in bushes and woodland - and returning covered in bugs, leaves, twigs and mud!”

For a free wildlife gardening guide and advice on how to improve a workplace grounds for wildlife, please email corporate@wildlifebcn.org.