Anglia’s community gardeners clinched a category win and a haul of medals at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) annual Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Belfast last Friday night.
Five finalists were chosen to fly the flag for the region following success in the Anglia in Bloom competition the previous year. A total of 76 groups from across the UK competed in 12 categories with each also vying for a gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medal.
The market town of Wisbech in Cambridgeshire won the Business Improvement District (BID), Town & City Centres category joining Bury St Edmonds and Hunstanton in securing gold medals. Woburn and Norwich added to the medal tally with a silver and silver gilt respectively. All of the groups battled what judges have declared the toughest year on record with communities nationwide fighting to keep blooms alive.
Category winner Wisbech impressed the judges with its community spirit, floral displays and project to restore the high street. The town has seen a large influx of migrant workers in recent years and has used horticulture to help bring the community together. Other highlights included a new community orchard, a ‘putting the beach back into Wisbech’ display and Octavia Hill’s beautifully maintained Birthplace House, co-founder of the National Trust and social reformer.
Gold medal winning Bury St Edmunds wowed with its ‘river of flowers’ at Tollgate triangle and stunning Abbey Gardens, while the seaside town of Hunstanton displayed imaginative green space design, seamlessly combining formal beds and crazy golf, as well as a heritage orchard of ancient apple, pear and cherry varieties.
The full results for the RHS Britain in Bloom finalists representing Anglia are:
|Bury St Edmunds||Large Town||Gold|
|Coastal (under 12k)||Gold|
|BIDs, Town & City Centres
|Gold and category winner
Community champion award: Brian Massingham
Finalists are judged on their horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility with the RHS judges visiting communities from the end of July after months of hot and dry weather.
Darren Share, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “This year’s finalists faced the most challenging conditions the competition has ever seen with much of the country under snow and ice at the start of spring followed by the joint-hottest summer on record.
“That so many groups have walked away with top medals is remarkable and a reflection of communities’ hard work, ingenuity and horticultural know-how.”
The Anglian finalists collected their awards from Chris Bavin, presenter of BBC Two’s Britain in Bloom TV series and guest speaker at the awards ceremony.
The full results for RHS Britain in Bloom 2018 are here: www.rhs.org.uk/bloomawards2018.