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Kingsbridge is one of just six towns in the South West to be included in this year’s virtual Britain in Bloom competition.
Run by the Royal Horticultural Society, this is the first time in Britain In Bloom’s 57 year history that the event will not take place in the normal way. The new virtual awards replace the RHS Britain in Boom UK Finals competition for 2021 and will see Britain in Bloom groups recognised for their efforts to transform their local areas.
The RHS will also celebrate community gardening across the UK through the RHS Community Awards this year. 63 community gardening groups will showcase their efforts across five award categories – including food growing, helping wildlife and bringing people together.
Kingsbridge In Bloom's planters along the Embankment
Through the pandemic year of 2020, nine in every ten groups carried on gardening, maintaining our all-important green spaces and harnessing their skills to help others, from growing food to lifting people’s spirits via imaginative planting displays, and Kingsbridge In Bloom are no different.
Graham Price, Chairman of Kingsbridge In Bloom, said: “Over the last few years Kingsbridge in Bloom have helped transform the town with their many horticultural displays from neglect in many areas to the vibrant and attractive place it is today.
“The work by this volunteer group has been recognised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) with the very highest gold awards at both regional and national level. In 2020 the group also received a Queen Award for Voluntary Service (MBE) in the Birthday Honours for their support to the community.
“This year the RHS will not be running a national competition because of the COVID uncertainty but will be running national virtual communities awards for those places nominated by their region. Kingsbridge has been nominated to represent the South West region and will be out working again to demonstrate how we work and integrate with our community in many different ways.
“We were given five topics and to choose three for our submission. The ones chosen were: Planting with Purpose - Using plants in creative ways to address challenges in their communities; Nature Friendly Gardening - Making spaces they care for wildlife- friendly and Cultivating your Community - reaching out to others in their community to enjoy the benefits of growing.
“The last 12 months has been challenging for the group because of COVID restrictions but work has already begun on the many displays with maintenance and preparation for what is anticipated to be another successful Britain in Bloom campaign for the town.”
Kingsbridge In Bloom's barrel display next to the estuary
A total of 63 groups will participate across five categories having been nominated by one of the 16 Britain in Bloom UK regions and nations.
Groups will submit evidence digitally in up to three award categories to a panel of Bloom and RHS horticultural, wildlife and environmental experts.
Kay Clark, RHS Community Development Manager said: “We’ve been truly inspired by the creativity and ingenuity that volunteers have shown throughout the pandemic, supporting their communities while observing the social distancing rules.
“While we’re not able to run the Britain in Bloom UK Finals competition this year, the RHS Community Awards will shine a light on groups’ fantastic efforts during a challenging time.”
The results of the RHS Community Awards, including the most outstanding entries in each category, will be announced at the end of September with all participants receiving certificates.
For more information about RHS Britain in Bloom and to search for community gardening groups in your area please visit www.rhs.org.uk/communities/find-a-group-search-form
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