New award celebrates wildlife-friendly allotments in Devon

New award celebrates wildlife-friendly allotments in Devon

Photo, Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

Devon Wildlife Trust has revealed their new Wildlife Awareness Allotment Award to celebrate allotment gardeners making space for wildlife.

The most recent State of Nature[1] report showed almost half of UK wildlife is in long term decline and 15% of species are at risk of extinction. Loss of habitats and overuse of pesticides are two major reasons for these declines, particularly in our vital insect populations.

The patchwork of green spaces across our towns and cities are hugely important for wildlife and can help communities tackle the biodiversity and climate crises. Domestic gardens are often celebrated as potential wildlife havens and there is a growing movement to make space for nature elsewhere, from roadside verges to green roofs. Allotments are part of this network of valuable green spaces, providing food, water and shelter for animals, as well as producing a colourful spread of local produce.

Devon Wildlife Trust and the South West Branch of the National Allotment Association have teamed up to champion allotments as budding spaces for wildlife, by launching the Wildlife Awareness Allotment Award! The award, hosted on the Devon Wildlife Trust website, aims to inspire and encourage allotment gardeners to make space so that wildlife can thrive.

Bath Time -Two young sparrows enjoying a bath in a puddle

Sparrow. Photo, Chris Speller

Katie Wilkinson, Devon Wildlife Trust Wilder Communities Team Lead says

‘’This award is a fantastic opportunity for people to be recognised for their efforts in creating wildlife friendly allotments. Greenspaces such as allotments are vital stepping stones – if every gardener did a few things for wildlife on their patch, such as going chemical free, it would make a huge difference to local wildlife’’.

Tim Callard, Chairman of the South West Branch of the National Allotment Society:

“It is my hope that other communities and groups are inspired by this award and that it is adopted on a national scale, linking up allotments into a wider network. I see the award as a way of promoting allotments as safe havens for our wildlife and allotment gardeners as an ever-growing section of society across the UK who really care about wildlife”

Wildflower border in allotment

Devon Wildlife Trust have already seen fantastic examples of allotments hosting a range of wildlife, including those nurtured by staff within the charity. Russell Luscombe, one of Devon Wildlife Trust’s Fundraising Officers, has planted wildflower borders which have burst with colour this Summer, attracting insects and birds to his allotment in Exeter.

This award also highlights The Wildlife Trust’s Action For Insects campaign, a nationwide effort to reverse the massive insect declines by encouraging people to create more nature-rich places and make cities, towns and parishes pesticide-free.

The allotment award is open to anyone with an allotment in Devon and provides a range of ideas and resources for helping wildlife. To find out more, go to the Wildlife Awareness Allotment Award.

Editor's Notes


National Allotment Society is the leading national organisation upholding the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK. The society works with government at national and local levels, other organisations and landlords to provide, promote and preserve allotments for all.