The World's Ugliest Lawn

A global initiative to save water by changing the norm of green lawns

The winner of The World’s Ugliest Lawn contest is Kathleen Murray from Tasmania, Australia!

After receiving ugly lawn entries from around the world, the international jury has now crowned The World’s Ugliest Lawn. It was no easy task since all of the entries were ugly, but one lawn was indeed the ugliest.

Kathleen has now received the coveted first prize – a pre owned t-shirt with the text ”Proud owner of The World’s Ugliest Lawn”.

The jury’s motivation:

It’s the most beautiful example of the most unattractive lawn for the most worthy cause in the world: water conservation. That’s the genius of this competition. It uses humor to shine a light on such a serious subject. And it awards those willing to proudly proclaim that theirs is the lawn which deserves disgusted glances from neighbors – and a round of applause from around the globe.

Kathleen Murray’s lawn boasts deep, dry divots created by three wild bandicoots (small marsupials endemic to Australia) and not one dust-covered decimeter is wasted on watering. For that, the planet, and its dwindling stockpiles of life-giving liquid, thanks you, Kathleen. As well as those naughty, naughty bandicoots pockmarking your property for the greater good.

This year’s competition was judged by a panel of international jurors who deliberated at length over many hideous yet heroic contenders. Everyone who entered has a lot of ugliness to be proud of.

The International Jury Panel was made up of a diverse group of experts, including:

Diarmuid Gavin, Garden Designer, Ireland, Juror

Lesly Pyle, Author & Advertising Copywriter, United States, Juror

Neex Thammavongsan, Architect, New Zealand, Juror

Fenella Fryxell, Senior Director, Australia, Juror

Stefan Hollmark, Regional Executive Officer of Gotland, Sweden, Juror

Mimmi Gibson, Director of Brand at Region Gotland, Sweden, Moderator

The “World’s Ugliest Lawn” competition was created by Region Gotland in Sweden as the natural next step after a successful launch of “Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn” in 2022.

The world (literally) can’t wait for next year’s contest.

The photo above is free to use for all media.

The challenge was launched with a Zoom chat between actress and sustainability activist Shailene Woodley and Marcus Norström, last year’s winner of Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn.



Watch the video!

”This challenge is a great way to influence people to use less water”

Shailene Woodley


Huge amounts of water are used to water lawns for aesthetics. As the world gets warmer, water scarcity is a growing problem. UNESCO is projecting water scarcity in urban areas to double from 930 million in 2016 to 1.7–2.4 billion people in 2050. By not watering lawns for aesthetic reasons, we can protect the availability of groundwater.

This is why Gotland in Sweden is launching The World’s Ugliest Lawn-competition, with the aim of saving water on a global scale by changing the norm for green lawns.

Gotland, Sweden’s biggest island, regularly experiences drought and water scarcity. Saving water is a constant priority.

Last summer, our competition “Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn” celebrated lawn owners who conserved water during drought by not watering their lawns, resulting, together with other water saving initiatives, in a 5% reduction in water consumption on the island compared to previous summer. So far the  ”Ugly Lawn”-initiative initiative has an earned reach of more than 1 Billion.

The World’s Ugliest Lawn-challenge is our way to inspire positive change globally and show that sustainability doesn’t have to be boring!



Mimmi Gibson
Director of Brand, Region Gotland, Sweden
+46 70 083 22 99

Marcus Norström – the winner of the competition Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn 2022.

Stina Östman – the winner of the competition Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn 2023.