The names of the most wildlife friendly gardeners in Dorset have been revealed.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust’s 10th annual Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition awards ceremony recognised the people who had gone the extra mile to support wildlife in their gardens.

Categories for awards were: large gardens, which was won by Clare Cavanagh of Bridport, medium gardens, won by Jacqui Warder of Puddletown, small gardens, won by Penny Smith of Swanage and community gardens, won by Vanessa Henman of St Nicholas & St Laurence School, Weymouth.

Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group (which sponsored the awards), said: "Since the competition started 10 years ago, we have judged around 700 gardens, which is an encouraging sign that people are taking responsibility for the way they interact with wildlife at home.

"Every year the standard of entries rises, as gardeners of all ages and levels of experience come up with creative ways to build an oasis for themselves and any wildlife visitors.

"Far from the days when us wildlife enthusiasts were a rare and misunderstood breed who felt like they should meet in secret, gardening with wildlife in mind is now more popular than ever, and initiatives like Get Dorset Buzzing are a fantastic way to feed this enthusiasm.

"As gardeners, we collectively have the potential to make a huge impact on Dorset’s natural environment and the creatures that live within it, so it’s incredibly fulfilling to see just how far we’ve come over the past decade."

A total of 73 gardens were judged for the competition - a record for the awards.

The awards were presented by, Dr George McGavin, president of the Dorset Wildlife Trust, who spoke about the importance of people taking care of the wildlife in their gardens.

He talked about how insects are vital for ecology and biodiversity, and that gardeners should accommodate pollinators in their gardens.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Get Dorset Buzzing Campaign, which linked up with the Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition, offers advice on how gardeners can make their gardens pollinator friendly.

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