Author Laura Brook
We have all heard the phrase the sweet smell of success and never has a truer word been spoken than when you are a winner of a national wildlife gardening competition. Here at the Sussex Wildlife Trust we were thrilled to hear that Terry and Christine Oliver of Lindfield had won the large residential category of the Big Wildlife Gardening competition.
The aim of the competition was to get people across the UK to think about their patch for wildlife and how it can inspire others. There were six categories in total which covered a wide range of space from large residential gardens through to workplaces and even recognition of how new residential gardens can be transformed to be valuable for wildlife.
Of course all gardens are a private place where you can express your own individual style and taste, and often there is a vital need to cram a range of uses into increasingly tight spaces. For Terry, he has also shown that good things come to those who wait, as it was over ten years ago that Terry first planned out his garden. The Oliver's have paid careful attention to space and design in their garden so that features that are fantastic for families are incorporated as much as those for wildlife and in many cases complement one another. For example the summer house is nicely nestled amongst a small area of coppiced trees at the bottom of the garden offering a relaxing area to sit whilst taking in the hive of activity going on around them.
When I look at a wildlife garden, I often wonder is it the love of wildlife that has inspired the garden or the garden that has inspired the love of wildlife? I have no doubt it is different for everyone. For Terry and his wife it seems that it is the wildlife that has inspired the garden with a reflection of habitats from ponds, lawn, pollen rich flower borders and even a small area of coppice which is a wonderful hiding spot for fledgling birds.
If you would like to see more of Terry and Christine’s garden and get inspiration for your own space however big or small then take a look at this excellent short film.
film by Neil Fletcher