GARDENERS from Chard and Winsham have been named among the winners in a gardening competition organised by the Somerset Wildlife Trust.

The SWT’s 2012 Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition was a big hit, and the winners were announced during an awards ceremony at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, where TV gardener Toby Buckland was on hand to present the prizes.

Elizabeth and Carleton Earl, of Winsham, were named as winners of the competition, while Helen Lofthouse, of Chard, was joint third with St Nicholas Primary School in Henstridge.

A couple from Long Load, near Martock, were runners-up.

The competition aims to recognise the increasingly important contribution gardeners are making to the conservation of wildlife, even in the smallest spaces.

Penny Richards, a volunteer with SWT’s gardening for wildlife group, said: “It’s great to see so many people considering how they can help wildlife in their gardens.

“As the wider countryside comes under increasing pressure these oasis gardens are more important than ever for our native wildlife.”

More than 50 gardens entered this year’s competition, including many schools.

Winners received a plaque and wildlife-friendly prizes.