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Ready to welcome Britain in Bloom Judges

Congleton is Blooming Ready for Royal Horticultural Society UK Finals Judging- RHS Britain in Bloom judging tour takes place on Monday 8th August

Green fingered volunteers from Congleton have been busy putting the finishing touches to their Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom campaign ahead of the arrival of RHS judges Jim Goodwin and Mel Henley on Monday 8th August.

Last summer 72 locations were selected to represent their region/nation in this year’s Britain in Bloom finals, each hoping to score top marks and be announced category winner at an awards ceremony in Birmingham on 14 October.  Congleton is in the best Large Town category alongside 9 other towns including Coleraine, Colwyn Bay, Farnham, Perth and Ryde.

When assessing Congleton, judges will take into consideration three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility, demonstrated across public spaces such as town or city centres, parks and communal gardens, as well as natural spaces including conservation areas and wildflower meadows. Each entry’s final score also takes into account a whole range of complementary factors, from the condition of street furniture to the engagement of young people in Bloom activities.

UK-wide Britain in Bloom groups transform an estimated 3,459 acres, equivalent to 9.9 Hyde Parks or 1,965 football pitches into green havens for all. Bloom volunteers have transformed derelict land into community gardens, greened grey spaces, brightened up streets with floral displays, cleared litter, grown fresh produce, and so much more. As part of their commitment to creating green spaces in their communities Britain in Bloom groups, including the 72 finalists, have planted more than 10 million plants, trees and bulbs over the past year.

Roger Burnett, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel, said: ‘Britain in Bloom is a real movement for good that is transforming neighbourhoods, creating communities and bringing the many health and wellbeing benefits of gardening to increasing numbers of people from every walk of life.

“The RHS Britain in Bloom finals are an opportunity to celebrate the tens of thousands of often unheralded volunteers who readily give up their time to improve their local environment. My fellow judges and I are immensely proud to be able to see the fruits of their labour and celebrate the work they do.”

Chairman of the Congleton In Bloom team, Cllr David Brown said: “We are really looking forward to showing the Britain in Bloom judges around Congleton. Congleton in Bloom has helped transformed many parts of Congleton since it was formed in 1998. There’s so much more to Congleton in Bloom than pretty flowers. It’s about bringing people together, improving areas and instilling community pride. I would like to thank all the individuals, groups, businesses and areas that have supported our entry this year. The standard just keeps getting higher and higher. We think Congleton looks blooming marvellous this year and we hope the judges agree! In 2014 we received gold standard in Britain in Bloom and was one of the best in the category. This year we would love to retain gold and be the best in category!!”
Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Regional Development, said: ”RHS Britain in Bloom puts communities front and centre as we recognise the amazing work they have done, often under incredibly difficult circumstances.

“This year we will be presenting a new award that will recognise the efforts Bloom groups have made to make their communities greener and more beautiful places, often while facing adversity – from flooding to extreme heat and vandalism. Although the character, selflessness and resolve of Bloom Groups are well known, this new award will shine a light on the often uncelebrated work communities do to make the UK a greener, healthier place to live.”

“The finalists should be immensely proud of all they’ve achieved to get this far, and I wish them the very best of luck!’

For information on how to take part visit: www.rhs.org.uk/communities/campaigns/britain-in-bloom