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Flowers in a front garden

Celebrate your front garden or balcony

A competition to find the most biodiverse front gardens, balconies and outdoor spaces in the borough has launched and is now open for entries.

It is being run by Cultivating Ealing, in partnership with Ealing Council, and ActForEaling, a local organisation created by residents to promote climate and nature positive activity in the borough. Entry to the competition is free, it’s open to all residents and there are cash prizes for the winners.

The borough has around 75,000 front gardens, which could be a powerful and positive force for climate action. However, a great many of these spaces are covered almost entirely in hard surfaces. There are also lots of balconies in the borough that could offer a home to slugs, bugs and butterflies.

By incorporating more pots, plants and raised beds in your front garden or balcony you can create a home for birds and wildlife, transforming your doorstep or outside space into an oasis of biodiversity and beauty. You could even replace your concrete and paving with wildflowers and a shady tree.

Even the tiniest of outdoor spaces can contribute to the borough’s biodiversity, so why not upcycle an old container and get planting. You could invite neighbours to join you to create a community wildlife garden, whether that’s across a group of balconies in a block of flats or an abandoned patch of soil. The biodiverse front gardens and balconies competition webpage has lots of ideas and tips to inspire you.

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, said: “We’re creating a new regional park and planting fifty thousand new trees in the borough but Ealing is full of gardens, yards and balconies. We are committed to increasing and enhancing the green spaces and biodiversity of our borough, creating a new regional park, rewilding areas like Warren Farm and planting 50,000 new trees.

“Part of that goal, and equally important, is encouraging residents to transform their front gardens into beautiful, biodiverse, wildlife friendly spaces. This is a simple but effective way that many of us can play a role in helping make our borough cleaner, healthier and more beautiful.”

How to enter

There are 6 entry categories: front gardens (small), front gardens (large), micro gardens and balconies (including terraces, narrow boats, etc.), edible front gardens, street/community garden and driveway transformation. There are also separate competitions for schools and allotments which have been running for several years and will also have an award for biodiversity this year. Read more about each category on the ActForEaling’s website.

Everyone is welcome to take part, whether you have a long-established front garden or are just starting out transforming the front of your home space. Apply for the 6 categories by 23:59 on 14 July 2024. Schools can apply by 23:59 on 30 April and allotments by 23:59 on 3 June 2024.

Good for you and your home

The beneficial links between green spaces, nature and biodiversity to our health and wellbeing have been well documented. Green front gardens and balconies create an attractive and stress-relieving space. Plants, especially when in flower, have been shown to lift the spirits, and provide much needed food to our pollinators the bees and others.

Increasing planting space by removing concrete and paving from a front garden can help combat urban heating and reduce the risk of flooding.

Discover more about the biodiverse front gardens and balconies competition and share the link with friends and family to help make our borough greener and more friendly for all.

Find out more about the council’s biodiversity action plan.

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