IT took just five hours for Dorset Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers to identify more than 100 wildlife species 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, an increase of nearly 30 per cent since its first annual survey last year.

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 added: “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."

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