IF you’d like to know more about the variety of creatures that may be living in your garden, the Knoll Gardens Annual Garden Wildlife Survey is a good place to start. Led by experts from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, this event at Knoll Gardens near Wimborne takes place every year to create a vital snapshot of wildlife activity.

The survey provides an important year-on-year record, and offers the opportunity for everyone with an interest in wildlife to get involved – beginners and experts alike. Learning more about the relationship between Knoll’s flora and fauna is a key part of the work of the Knoll Gardens Foundation, the garden-based charity set up to understand the ecology of the garden and encourage others to adopt techniques that benefit the gardener and garden wildlife. The Foundation also organises regular surveys of its populations of birds, butterflies, moths, bees, dragonflies, reptiles, mammals and bats.

“2019 has already seen some unusual sightings across the country with hot weather in Europe bringing an influx of Painted Lady butterflies in June and unusual birds including the European Bee Eater and Purple herons”, said Knoll’s owner Neil Lucas. “Whilst we are not expecting to spot anything as substantial as a heron, we will be on the lookout for rare Scarce Chaser dragonflies as we have had a female guarding her territory by a pond for nearly two months and would love to see her find a mate. Last year the survey also found an amazing variety of other insects including long-winged Conehead crickets, Batman hoverflies, Beewolf wasps and Fork-tailed Flower Bees. We hope they are all still thriving alongside the garden’s many other insects, birds, mammals and reptiles. I’d encourage everyone to come along and find out more about the wide range of creatures that may be living in their own gardens.”

Nicky Hoar, community and campaigns officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust said: “The wildlife survey at Knoll Gardens provides valuable information about garden wildlife and how best to conserve it. Insects, including many important pollinators, are in worrying decline which is why DWT’s ‘Get Dorset Buzzing’ campaign is encouraging people to join the fight to reverse this trend in our gardens this summer. “

This year’s Annual Garden Wildlife Survey at Knoll Gardens takes place on Tuesday, August 6 from 10am – 3pm. No need to book. £5 of each admission ticket is donated to Knoll Gardens Foundation. See knollgardensfoundation.org or call Knoll Gardens on 01202 873931.