Invitations for 2019 Biordivesity Lecture Welcome

Dorset community groups invited to apply for first free annual garden biodiversity lecture in 2019 – Deadline for entry 29th June 2018

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.

Announcing Wild & Wonderful Bees July 2017

Wild and Wonderful Bees – Saturday 14th July

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’.

Join us for Wildlife Garden Survey August 2017

Take a walk on the wild side: Join us for our annual garden wildlife survey – Tuesday 8 August 2017

Every August the Knoll Gardens Foundation hosts a very special Garden Wildlife Survey. In 2016, sixty-one species were identified in a single day and this year, with the help of a team of experts and an army of volunteers, the garden charity’s trustees hope to find even more. Can you spare the time to help out?

The 2017 Garden Wildlife Survey runs from 10am – 3pm on Tuesday 8 August and everyone is welcome. It is suitable for all ages and for beginners as well as those with more knowledge. It is a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the creatures you may see in your own garden, re-engage with nature and just take some time out and enjoy some down time is Knoll’s glorious naturalistic environment. Our 2017 team of experts includes:

Keith Powrie, who has been recording butterfly, dragonfly and damselfly sightings as Knoll for many years. Keith will be leading two identification walks on 8 August, in the late morning and early afternoon.

Mark Spencer, President of Bournemouth Natural Science Society, who having been moth trapping the night before will be there with his finds for close examination and identification on the day.

Stuart Roberts, distinguished entomologist and chair of the UK Bee, Wasp and Ants Recording Society, who will be helping out Knoll’s new bumble bee surveyor. The RSPB, who will be continuing survey work already undertaken at Knoll earlier in the year surveying our birds, and helping to organise and identify the many other creatures that visit and make Knoll Gardens their home.

Tracy Standish, Knoll’s education volunteer, who not only can identify many of the
species in the garden – but can also make the humblest woodlouse a thing of joy to visiting children.

If you can make some time we’d love your help. You do not need to book, and the normal garden admission charge will be divided between all participating charities. Anyone already volunteering with RSPB, DWT, BNSS and BWARS and wanting to help out will be admitted free of charge Directions

Registration with Fundraising Regulator

The Knoll Gardens Foundation proudly works with the Fundraising Regulator, an independent body who set and maintain the standards for charitable fundraising in the UK.

The role of the Fundraising Regulator is as follows:

  • To set and promote the standards for fundraising practice (‘the code’ and associated rulebooks) in consultation with the public, fundraising stakeholders and legislators.
  • To investigate cases where fundraising practices have led to significant public concern.
  • To adjudicate complaints from the public about fundraising practice, where these cannot be resolved by the charities themselves.
  • To operate a fundraising preference service to enable individuals to manage their contact with charities.
  • Where poor fundraising practice is judged to have taken place, recommend best practice guidance and take proportionate remedial action.

You can find out more about the Regulator on the Fundraising Regulator website.

If you would like to contact us regarding any aspect of fundraising;  call, email or write to us at the addresses provided on our website.

Bugs & Buds toddler club gets kids into the garden

Bugs and Buds toddler club gets kids into the garden Bugs and Buds is a monthly garden club for tots launching at Knoll in May 2017. The club aims to inspire a love of nature from an early age with tots enjoying planting, nest building and bug hunting as well as activities specific to the changing seasons at Knoll.

Knoll’s glorious ornamental grasses provide wonderful habitats for wildlife as well as texture, sound and movement. Many of the deciduous grasses also grow from ground level to over five feet high in one season creating a constantly changing environment for youngsters to explore, whilst other things to discover include rare trees and shrubs, ponds, bird feeders, a bee hotel, and the garden’s very own dragon.

Bugs  and  Buds  is  part  of  a  programme  of   activities  being  run  by  the  Knoll  Gardens   Foundation  to  encourage  sustainable,   wildlife-­‐friendly  gardening  based  on  the   methods  used  in  the  garden  at  Knoll.  Led   by  The  Foundation’s  Education  Officer,   Tracy  Standish,  activities  will  be  season   and  weather-­‐dependent  but  can  include   story  walks,  making  bug  houses,  digging   and  planting,  seed  hunting,  outdoor  art,   making  bird  feeders,  nest  spotting,   garden  games  and  pond  dipping.

Bugs and Buds runs from 10.30am – 12 noon on the last Saturday of each month, starting on 27 May, and costs £4.50 per child. It is aimed at tots ages 2 – 4 and their parent/carer. Places are limited. To book please call Knoll Gardens on 01202 873931 or email

Luxury Accommodation for Bees and Bugs

A brand new luxury hotel was officially declared open on 2 August 2016 when the Dorset Wildlife Trust unveiled Knoll Gardens’ new bee hotel. Built by DWT staff and volunteers and installed as part of the Knoll Gardens Foundation’s on-­‐going work to research and promote wildlife friendly gardening, the unveiling took place on the same day as volunteers from DWT and Knoll undertook the latest garden wildlife survey as part of the DWT Great Heath Project. Set in the Sunny Meadow, the new bee hotel will provide much needed homes for solitary bees, whose numbers have been in decline in recent years through loss of habitat and safe nesting sites.