The competition aims to promote gardens as havens and habitats for wildlife and natural flora and to raise awareness of their importance in preserving biodiversity. It is being supported by the North, West and South Show as well as the Pollinator Project.
Clive and Geraldine Silk are among the 28 entrants. The couple have shared an interest in wildlife and plants from a young age. Their garden consists of a wildflower area, a super-bug hotel, 13 beehives and several other outlets to encourage wildlife diversity.
‘We were both brought up to respect wildlife,’ said Mrs Silk. ‘This competition is about encouraging everyone to have a wild patch. You can do your bit for nature even with a tiny space.’
Some 30% of Guernsey’s land area is taken up by gardens, and competition organisers want this to increase.
Competition co-founder John Ogier said: ‘Guernsey is losing its biodiversity at a fast rate. Gardens are such an important space for wildlife and recreation.’
The judges are asking entrants to record the wildlife in their gardens to get a clear picture of biodiversity levels in Guernsey. They emphasised the importance of re-wilding gardens to provide more resources for pollinators and to welcome new habitants to gardens.
‘Mr and Mrs Silk’s garden’s re-wilding makes this garden special,’ said Mr Ogier. ‘Sometimes encouraging wildlife is about doing less to your garden – mowing less and leaving weeds where they are, bees love weeds. You can enjoy your space alongside nature.’
Mr and Mrs Silk would like to attract young people to wildlife conservation.
‘We have to get the young people on board,’ said Mrs Silk.
Mr Silk added: ‘We’re trying to spread the word that anyone can do it, whether your garden is big or small.’
n The first stage of judging was completed yesterday. The awards will be presented to winners on 30 September at Les Cotils at 7.30pm.