December 12 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 14, 2013
Communities across the region are celebrating today after scooping awards in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom National Awards 2013.
Filby was awarded Gold in the village category. Norwich and Wisbech were both awarded Silver Gilts - Norwich in the City category and Wisbech in the large town category.
Mancroft, The Lanes (Norwich) picked-up a Silver in the urban community category. Great Yarmouth also won Silver, in the coastal (with a population of more than 12,000) category.
Elsewhere in East Anglia, Halstead in Essex won gold in the RHS Champion of Champions category and Colchester took Silver Gilt in the small city category.
The awards were presented by Bob Flowerdew, BBC gardening broadcaster, at a special ceremony last night.
• Filby was awarded Gold in the Village category
An RHS judge said: “The conservation methods and improving status of your SSSI site at Trinity Broads was well explained in your portfolio and demonstrates the effectiveness of your maintenance and management. You have a very innovative approach to encouraging recycling in the village with the bonus of raising significant funds from this activity. We were also impressed by the number of water collection points and use of a water borehole in this relatively dry part of the country. It was spotless on the day thanks to your volunteers working in partnership with your local authority. You also have an abundance of well-maintained signs, benches, and water features.”
• Halstead won Gold in the RHS Champion of Champions category
RHS judges, said: “Much of the Towns development centres around the Quaker Courtauld family business of weaving, and this is celebrated and attractively portrayed by the Loom garden floral display near the hospital. The Partnership Agreement between Halstead in Bloom and Essex County, Braintree District and Halstead Town Councils is clearly working to the benefit of residents and visitors, with beautiful floral displays throughout the Town. The new riverside walk/cycle path and conservation measures at Coggeshall Pieces shows that Halstead is a community caring for its people and its environment.”
Julia Smith, Secretary of Halstead in Bloom, said: “Halstead was delighted and amazed to be selected as one of only 5 invited entrants to the Champion of Champions category 2013. Our volunteers are always very willing and enthusiastic but this year there has been a special ‘buzz’ in the team. The In Bloom effort has been great for Halstead and we know that it is appreciated by residents, those who work in the town and our many visitors. The cooperation between volunteers and Town, District and County Councils has had benefits for all and the results are a delight to behold. The very enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers will be continuing to enjoy what we do for Halstead, and we would welcome anyone who wants to join this winning team.”
• RHS Community Champion Award: Julia Smith, Halstead
Halstead in Bloom was started 13 years ago with Julia being elected as secretary/treasurer a post she has held ever since. From those first beginnings Halstead has won Best Newcomer in Anglia in Bloom to winning the town category in RHS Britain in Bloom with a gold medal. Julia has played a central role in Halstead in Bloom and its achievements. She instigated the application for the Queens Award and organises the annual calendar which is a huge income for Halstead in Bloom. Julia has applied successfully for several grants to support Halstead’s work. Julia looks after the administration for the BIB and AIB inspections and looks after the minutes of the monthly meetings and the Partnership minutes between Essex County Council, Braintree District Council, Halstead Town Council and Halstead in Bloom.
• Colchester won Silver Gilt in the Small City category
An RHS judge said: “Colchester is one of Britain’s oldest recorded towns yet has one of the youngest In Bloom Groups having only being in existence in it’s present form since 2009. Since that time a tremendous amount of improvements have been made by this enthusiastic band of volunteers working in partnership with the Borough Council and other local voluntary groups. Their infectious can do attitude and friendly approach means this group will go places and their Bloom slogan “Making a Difference” really does sum them up. A first time entrant to the national finals but one to watch in the future.”
Pam Schomberg, Chair of Colchester in Bloom, said: “Without a doubt we have made one huge difference to the town in the past 4 years that the In Bloom team has been active in the town, so it has all been a most worthwhile rewarding experience. We work so well with park & town management, the Veolia team - the Council planting this year was just fabulous, as was our Castle Park. Various groups are beginning to come on board, we all have the same goal, to ensure Colchester is a beautiful clean place to live.”
• Norwich won Silver Gilt in the City category
An RHS judge said: “With the largest concentration of people in the east of England, Norwich is a destination city for many visitors both from the UK and overseas. Norwich in Bloom is very much the promotional face of the city while still being a community led and focused campaign. Many of the churches, hidden gardens and community groups are all helped and supported by the Bloom group and there is a positive feeling of togetherness and friendship throughout the City.”
Julie Brociek-Coulton, Secretary of Friends of Norwich in Bloom, said: Being selected to join in the Britain in Bloom awards this year has been a very delightful experience. Norwich over the past ten years has had more and more groups come on board as we find out hidden gems in Norwich that work tirelessly as volunteers for their part of the City. Bringing all of these small communities and making them a massive community is what is the main strength of our In-bloom in Norwich. Without everybody doing their part we would never had achieved what we have. With cutbacks Norwich needs to be more sustainable and with the help of the City’s contractors that is happening. So this year especially has been a really successful year bringing around 10 new groups on board to show what they do to make Norwich the wonderful City it is. Here’s to next year’s competitions.”
• Wisbech was awarded Silver Gilt in the Large Town category
An RHS Judge said: “The judges felt that the Wisbech Community Group and other interested parties working together, made a huge difference to this Georgian Market Town. Change is ongoing, and is proving worthwhile, whilst Heritage is an important element, many were suitably demonstrated. We particularly noted the Octavia Hill Group, and assistance given to the campaign by Elgoods Brewery. The delightful floral displays that provide a riot of colour throughout make this a better place to live and work. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, and appreciated your kind hospitality.”
Brian Massingham, Chair of Wisbech in Bloom, said: “Wisbech has received 6 consecutive Gold Awards in the regional Anglia in Bloom competition so we were keen to test our skills against other Large towns in the National RHS Britain in Bloom campaign. We knew that competition would be tough with competitors from much more affluent parts of the UK. We attended the finalists’ seminar and took on board the judges’ comments in particular embracing the Edible Britain theme. We worked with a local grower, Delamores who generously supplied us with thousands of free plants of both flowers, herbs and vegetables. They are pleased to be associated with our award winning efforts. The whole community pulled together and transformed our town with beautiful baskets and containers and innovative floral displays which have delighted both residents and visitors.”
• Mancroft, The Lanes (Norwich) picked-up a Silver in the Urban Community category
An RHS judge said: “The tour of this ward within the city of Norwich focused on the city centre and retail areas, where Norwich in Bloom supporters and volunteers make a considerable impact by their efforts. The heritage of the historic centre of the city is evident throughout, and in Chapelfield Gardens there is also a wealth of large and botanically interesting trees to be seen. We were pleased to see the gardens of two of the churches managed by their congregations and also a museum garden where volunteers are integral to the peaceful garden that adjoins.”
• Great Yarmouth won Silver, in the Coastal (with a population of more than 12,000) category
An RHS Judge said: “Originally home to the World’s largest herring fishing fleets, Yarmouth became a renowned seaside destination as early as 1760 and today it is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK providing a gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the sea. This historic coastal town has a long standing and committed In Bloom group who gave the judges a warm welcome and showed them some hidden delights. It has a strong partnership with the local authority and has recently taken on the responsibility for providing hanging baskets in the centre of the town, as well as a number of floral features. In difficult financial times the bloom group are adding that little extra to the visitors seaside experience and making this gem of a coastal resort one to remember.”