Yorkshire Wildlife Trust launches its own gardening award - here's how to enter your garden
The award rewards actions that everyone can take in their outdoor spaces to create places for wildlife and has been designed so that people can take part no matter how much space they have.
As well as private gardens, applicants can also submit their allotment, community garden, school grounds or business premises.
It takes just a few minutes to apply. Applicants are asked to submit detail on a number of different categories, including shelter, food, water, sustainability – including using peat-free compost – and connectedness to neighbours or nearby green spaces.
Successful wildlife gardeners will receive a certificate to celebrate their hard work or for a small donation participants will receive a plaque that can be proudly displayed in their garden to encourage neighbours to do the same.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s chief executive Rachael Bice said: “Large or small, ledge or yard, Yorkshire’s gardens and outdoor spaces can offer so much for bees, bats and birds.
"They provide a vital network for nature, natural havens linking up urban green spaces to the wider countryside beyond.
“One in seven – species – including our once common hedgehogs, pipistrelle bats and bumblebees – are at risk of extinction in the UK, so the way we look after our 24 million gardens really matters.”
Jack Wallington, wildlife gardening advocate based in Calderdale and author of A Greener Life, said: “Whether they’re big or small, gardens are amazing places where we can interact with wildlife, watching a bee or listening to the singing of birds.
"By making small changes to how we look after our gardens we can play an important role in improving and maintaining habitats for all kinds of wildlife, from ponds to drink, leaving seed heads to eat and fallen leaves for birds and frogs to rummage for slugs.
"Help your garden come alive and you might find it has the same effect on you.”
Wildlife Gardening Award
To enter the wildlife gardening award participants will need to have a minimum of 10 features in their garden from the list provided on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust website, with at least two from each category.
Participants will be invited to submit photos with the completed form and each application will then be assessed to check it meets the criteria with applicants informed soon after if they have been successful.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring wildlife and wild places in Yorkshire. "Our vision is for a Yorkshire that is abundant in wildlife, with more people having a genuine and meaningful connection with nature,” said Rachael.
"We were established as a charity in 1946, and are part of the Wildlife Trusts movement. We look after more than 100 nature reserves across Yorkshire and are involved in hundreds of other conservation-related projects. Our work inspires people to understand the value of nature and to take action for it.”
Reserves in our region include Allerthorpe in the East Riding and Broadhead Clough Nature Reserve in West Yorkshire.
Resources available include:
Planting wildflowers (https://www.ywt.org.uk/actions/how-grow-wild-patch-or-mini-meadow)
Creating a small container pond (https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-create-mini-pond)
Putting up a bee, bird or bat box (https://www.ywt.org.uk/actions/how-make-bee-hotel and more!)
To apply for a wildlife gardening award, visit https://www.ywt.org.uk/Wildlife-Gardening-Award/.