Izabella Zogaj, aged 10 from Hampshire was revealed as the winner of Radio 2’s Big Bee Challenge on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show this morning.
The competition was to design a bee-friendly garden and will see Izabella’s unveiled at an outside broadcast of Zoe’s show live from Doncaster tomorrow, where guests will include Adam Frost, Dr Bee – aka biologist Professor Dave Goulson and with music from Ella Henderson.
Radio 2’s Big Bee Challenge was launched in June with the aim of shining a light on the plight of our bee population, which is in decline, with some species in danger of extinction in the UK. The competition was open to 6-12 year olds.
Award-winning gardener and one of the judges of the competition, Adam Frost, adapted Izabella’s design into a plan for the site which is at an NHS Trust in Doncaster that is used by children and young people with mental health needs. It has been built there by a team led by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Zoe Ball said: “Huge congratulations to Izabella – her garden design is simply gorgeous, packed full of beautiful bee-loving plants, a wildlife pond and even a seating area. I can’t wait to see her reaction when she sees her garden in real-life tomorrow morning at a special outside broadcast of The Breakfast Show in Doncaster!”
Izabella said: “I really enjoyed designing the garden for the competition as it combined my love of drawing and nature. I was amazed to hear I was one of the 20 finalists and I am so happy that my design has been chosen to be created. I cannot wait to see it in real life!”
Another of the Big Bee Challenge competition’s judge’s is television presenter and farmer, Jimmy Doherty, who said: “Judging BBC Radio 2’s Big Bee Challenge has been truly wonderful. The imagination and ingenuity of all the applicants has been breath-taking – making judging extremely difficult. This year’s winner encapsulated everything that the judges were looking for, displaying exceptional talents – truly outstanding!”
For her prize – as well as her garden being built – Izabella will receive a box of gardening and nature goodies from the RHS, an illustrated and framed version of her garden design and an extra special chat with the stars of one of her favourite TV shows, BBC Two’s Your Garden Made Perfect. The remaining nineteen finalists receive a box of gardening and Radio 2 goodies.