News and Events

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Wild and Wonderful Bees

Download poster here….

Amid increasing concern about the decline in the world’s bee population, ‘Wild and Wonderful Bees’ is a family-friendly day especially created to open your eyes to the wonderful world of bees. Running at Wimborne’s Knoll Gardens from 11am – 4pm on Saturday 14 July, you’ll have to opportunity to meet up with experts, enjoy guided walks and trails, take part in activities and enjoy a day in Knoll’s glorious, naturalistic, wildlife-friendly garden as you discover more about these fascinating creatures.

Over 250 species of bee can be found in the UK but very few of us can identify any more than the domesticated honey bee. Furry Bumblebees make up another 24 species, but most of our bees are Solitary bees, some less than one centimetre long. Wild and Wonderful Bees provides an opportunity to discover more about bumble and solitary bees, a well as the better known  honey bee, and find out how to help all these important pollinators succeed in your own garden.

Amongst the many experts on the day you’ll be able to join bee walks with Daisy Headley, Conservation Officer at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust; Jane Adams, founder of the national Garden Bioblitz; and Rebecca Twigg, recent winner of Defra’s ‘Bees Needs Champions’ award for her Secret Garden project in Salisbury with its associated ‘Bee City’ and city-wide augmented reality ‘Bee Trail’.

Salisbury’s Secret Garden was recently named by The Telegraph as ‘one of the top ten bee gardens to visit’. Rebecca is passionate about encouraging others to understand more about bees, particularly the work of wild bees which she describes as, “the unsung heroes of the bee world”.

Rebecca said, “Solitary bees do not get the air time they deserve for all the pollinating services they provide.  We cannot afford to ignore them.  We need to really get serious about borrowing some ‘honey bee enthusiasm’, and applying that to their vulnerable wild cousins.”

In addition to walks and talks bee-related activities will include making bee houses and beeswax candles. Local honey will be available to ‘try’ and ‘buy’ from producers Beeline Honey who will also be talking about honey making in east Dorset, and there will be pollinator friendly plants on sale as well as expert advice on choosing the best plants to support your garden pollinators throughout the year.  Further attractions include a children’s trail, stalls featuring bee-related produce and a free packet of Johnsons ‘perfect for pollinators’ seeds for the first 100 visitors on the day.

Neil Lucas, Knoll’s owner will be leading a pollinator-friendly plant walk on the day. “From a gardener’s perspective there are no members of the animal kingdom more important than our bees,” said Neil. “Their life cycle plays an intrinsic role in maintaining a diverse and healthy plant population so it is hugely important that we help them as much as we can. At Knoll we are rolling out a policy to have plants in flower on every day of the year. We want to encourage everyone to make more space for pollinators in their gardens, and hope that Wild and Wonderful Bees will inspire our visitors to get more involved as they understand more about our 250 species of bee and their incredible lifestyles.

“This special event is one of many this year organised by our charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation. Through our research and education programmes we aim to show how easy it can be to attract and retain wildlife – and have a beautiful garden at the same time. Hopefully all our visitors will take home some top tips and advice for their own beds and borders as well as enjoying a great day out.”

Wild and Wonderful Bees runs from 11am – 4pm on Saturday 14 July at Knoll Gardens, on the outskirts of Wimborne, just follow the brown signs. Admission charges have been reduced for the day, with adult tickets at £6 and children at £3. A family ticket (2+2) costs £15. All monies raised will be donated to the Knoll Gardens Foundation.

For directions go to For more information about the work of the Knoll Gardens Foundation to go


Dorset community groups invited to apply for first free annual garden biodiversity lecture

Dorset community organisations with an interest in gardens, conservation and wildlife are invited to apply to host the first free annual lecture sponsored by the Knoll Gardens Foundation. It is the first time we have offered a free lecture to local groups and we hope it will become a regular annual event. The lecture will be presented by Knoll’s owner Neil Lucas, RHS Council member and Senior Judge, and the UK’s leading ornamental grass specialist. Interested groups can select from one of three lecture topics and the charity’s trustees will chose which organisation will host the first lecture based on information provided in a simple application form.

Neil Lucas is in great demand as an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. He holds ten Chelsea Gold Medals, is the author of the best-selling book ‘Designing with Grasses’ and has been a Council Member at the RHS since 2012.

Normally costing over £500 plus expenses, the presentation will be delivered, completely free of charge, to the selected community organisation able to provide a venue, audience and projector screen.

Applications are not restricted to gardening organisations. Any Dorset community group is welcome to apply whose members would appreciate hearing from an internationally acknowledged horticultural expert, completely free-of-charge.
Application deadline is 29 June 2018.

Download an application form….


June 2017: Take a walk on the wild side

May 2017: Bugs and Buds toddler club gets kids into the garden

Aug 2016: Luxury accommodation for bees and bugs




To see past newsletters sent to our Friends and supporters, click on the links below:-

Early summer 2018
Winter 2017/18
Autumn 2017
Summer 2017
Early summer 2017
Spring 2017
Spring 2016
Summer 2015
Spring 2014
Spring 2013
Summer 2012
Autumn 2011
Summer 2011
Winter 2010


Want to learn more about our approach to wildlife friendly gardening? Our volunteers are available in the gardens to answer questions and offer practical advice on most Friday mornings. Or why not take a butterfly walk, learn to weave a hedgerow basket, help to identify wildlife in the garden or learn about herbal medicine? We run a varied programme of events (many of them free) throughout the year. For a list of all current events please click here


May 2015            Foundation Friday; RSPB Guided Walk – The Voices of Spring

June 2015           Foundation Friday; We value our Volunteers                                                               Foundation Friday; Make Wildlife Welcome

July 2015            Foundation Friday; Guided Walk – Beautiful Butterflies

August 2015       The Great Heath Garden Wildlife Survey

October 2015      Foundation Friday; Wild about Gardens

November 2015  Foundation Friday; RSPB Guided Walk – The Garden in Winter


Articles to read

Read the editorial feature about the gardens and Foundation in The Gardening Times by clicking on the attached link:
The Gardening Times