RSPCA Chelsea Wildlife Garden

A garden inspired by the RSPCA approaching 200 years of helping animals, will exhibit at the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the Sanctuary Category.

Thanks to generous funding from Project Giving Back, The RSPCA Garden, designed by Martyn Wilson of Wilson Associates Garden Design, will see a contemporary interpretation of a wildlife sanctuary, inspired by native woodlands and a visit to the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, Somerset.

Martin is a wildlife enthusiast and it was on a visit to the Taunton Wildlife Centre that he saw first-hand the rehabilitation of wild animals. After the show the garden is being relocated to the RSPCA’s education hub at Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, Cheshire, in time for the charity’s 200th anniversary celebrations in 2024.

Elements of the garden will highlight the frontline work of RSPCA teams and volunteers, rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing thousands of animals every year. The charity hopes that the garden will inspire people to join them to do more.

The garden is a fusion of natural, sustainable and recycled materials and includes a raised wildlife-watching ‘hide’, designed to be a refuge in nature for an RSPCA volunteer after a busy shift.

Martyn (pictured left), who lives with his wife and beloved cocker spaniel Poppy in Worcester, said: “Animals are at the heart of this garden. I was inspired by my passion for wildlife and walks with my dog in a local semi-ancient woodland, as well as a visit to RSPCA West Hatch wildlife centre, where I saw first-hand the incredible rehabilitation work the charity’s team carries out, from injured seals to poor hedgehogs, and everything in between.

It is a celebration of 200 years of the RSPCA protecting animals and elements of the garden will reflect the cycle of painstaking care given to thousands of animals every year. Some of the garden’s features will include repurposed litter, and there will be nesting boxes for hedgehogs, but also for sparrows, which are a threatened species.”

Martyn points out that in celebration of 200 years of the RSPCA’s work, elements of the garden will reflect the cycle of painstaking care given to thousands of animals every year. The garden will feature repurposed litter, nesting boxes for hedgehogs and sparrows. He hopes that the garden will inspire everyone to take steps at home to create a sanctuary for wildlife and that creating a sanctuary for wildlife doesn’t have to mean having an untidy or scruffy garden.

Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, and keen gardener, said: “We are so excited to have a garden at Chelsea Flower Show next year to celebrate us approaching our anniversary of 200 years of helping animals – including wildlife.

Helping wildlife is an enormous part of the RSPCA’s work, with almost half of reports received relating to wild animals. It’s an amazing tribute to our staff and volunteers to see their hard work referenced in this garden.

We want to inspire people to take action to help wildlife at this critical time and Martyn Wilson’s stunning design provides that in spades.

We are incredibly grateful to Project Giving Back for the grant for this garden, which will have a living legacy at one of our centres helping us to encourage more people to improve the lives of animals for generations to come.

The 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Shows runs from 23rd to 27th May.

Garden design image ©Martyn Wilson