It took just five hours for Dorset Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers to identify over 100 wildlife species recently at Wimborne’s Knoll Gardens.

From stag beetles to tree bees, hornet hoverflies to holly blue butterflies and dunnocks to buzzards, the survey revealed a thriving wildlife community of 103 species, an increase of nearly 30% since the garden’s first annual survey last year.

The survey was part of a programme of research carried out on behalf of the Knoll Gardens Foundation. A charity that promotes responsible gardening, the Foundation believes that the simple act of creating beautiful outdoor spaces encourages us all to spend more time enjoying and experiencing the natural world. That enjoyment leads naturally to an appreciation of the wildlife that inevitably moves in to share our gardens with us.

Nicky Hoar, Learning and Interpretation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said, “This survey not only improves our knowledge of wildlife in Dorset but also demonstrates how important gardens are for wildlife. We have been particularly impressed with the range of insect species found at Knoll Gardens and many of our own gardens could be similar havens on a smaller scale. It demonstrates perfectly what we are working for in The Great Heath project, where gardens large and small, other open spaces and nature reserves combine to create a larger Living Landscape for wildlife to thrive alongside people.”

Bob Sweet, Chairman of the Knoll Gardens Foundation said, “I am delighted so many DWT experts and volunteers could give up their valuable time to help with this important species count and equally delighted by their findings. We value this survey as a kind of annual health check and whilst this year’s impressive results could be due to exceptional weather or a particularly talented group of volunteers, it is gratifying to know that we have a thriving wildlife community in the garden, and a real endorsement of Knoll’s renowned naturalistic gardening style”.

Knoll Gardens opens from Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm and is brown signed from all major routes into Wimborne. For more information on the work of the Foundation go to