Water companies sponsor new waterwise garden award

Kent Wildlife Trust has joined forces with South East Water (SEW) and Southern Water (SW) to introduce a new award for the 'Best Waterwise Wildlife Garden'.

Southern Water and South East Water with Alan and Wendy Ralphs

Southern Water and South East Water with Alan and Wendy Ralphs

As part of the 2011 Kent Wildlife Gardening Awards, the new category asked applicants to create a garden which offers a haven for wildlife and conserves water.

Scooping the award was Ashford couple Alan and Wendy Ralphs for their garden which houses 18 water butts creating a self-sufficient water supply for the garden and pond.

The awards were run by Kent Wildlife Trust in partnership with local authorities and the Royal Horticultural Society and sponsored by SEW and SW. The ceremony took place at the Singleton Environment Centre in Ashford.

Commenting on the award SW director of communications Geoff Loader, said: "These awards are a great way to enhance wildlife gardens in Kent. They also provide an ideal opportunity to link gardening with the need to be water efficient and avoid wasting water. Southern Water has been particularly pleased to support the awards and we have been delighted seeing the results across the county."

SEW head of communications Jane Gould, added: "The South East is an area of water stress and so there is an increasing emphasis on making sure we all play our part in helping to conserve such a precious resource."

Kent Wildlife Trust's volunteer gardening advisors visited as many entries as possible during the summer months. They then recommended the gardens for bronze, silver or gold certificates and also give gardeners further advice.

Gold winners received one of the Trust's 'Wild About Gardens' blue plaques.

Carys Matthews



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