Last night, Birmingham scooped Gold and were announced as winners of the Large City category at the Britain in Bloom with the RHS UK Finals Awards ceremony for 2015, hosted by TV Presenter and Gardening Expert James Alexander-Sinclair.
More than 1,000 Bloom groups from across Britain were vying for the coveted awards, of these just 70 finalists were chosen to represent their region/nation in the UK Finals, with Birmingham representing the Heart of England.
Deputy Leader for Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward said: “Time after time staff in Birmingham’s parks department pull out the stops with inspirational floral displays and beautiful parks. This award not only recognises the dedication and creativity of our parks team but also the contribution our thousands of volunteers make in improving the lives of residents, workers and visitors to our city.
“‘Greening up’ and making the most of our environment is so important in a large city like Birmingham and the impact that this has on people’s general feeling of wellbeing should not be underestimated. I congratulate everyone who has made this award possible and for the daily work that goes on behind the scenes to make this all happen. Well done to colleagues and volunteers alike.”
The Britain in Bloom with the RHS awards ceremony is a chance to celebrate the amazing work carried out by dedicated volunteers to recognise excellence, innovation and a commitment to keeping the UK’s villages, towns and cities clean, green and beautiful.
The hard work of Bloom groups across the country supplements public services – with almost 300,000 volunteers donating up to 10.9 million hours a year, equivalent to almost £70million at the National Minimum Wage. They also help to turn grey areas of Britain green and enrich people’s life through plants.
The Britain in Bloom with the RHS judging panel, headed by Roger Burnett, met with representatives of each finalist throughout the summer to assess each of the 70 Bloom campaigns against three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.
Chairman of the UK Judging Panel Roger Burnett said: “This has been a vintage year for Britain in Bloom with communities across the country coming together to create wonderful floral displays that benefit not just the individuals involved, but their communities and the wider environment. Thanks to the work of Britain in Bloom, our pollinators are better supported, once neglected areas of our towns, villages and cities are turning from grey to green, and communities are coming together with a shared purpose.
“The standard of entries this year has been incredibly high. It is an honour to recognise and celebrate the work these amazing people do to build stronger, healthier and happier communities through gardening.”
Norton in Hales was awarded the ultimate community gardening prize winning the Champion of Champions 2015 title, meaning the town is arguably the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful location in Britain.
A number of discretionary awards were also given to communities and individuals who demonstrated excellence in a particular area of the campaign. These included awards for young people’s involvement, environmental sustainability and tourism, amongst others.
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For more information or pictures from the awards ceremony contact Garfield Myrie on 020 7821 3060 / 07590930047 or firstname.lastname@example.org / Siobhan MacMahon on 020 7821 3043 or email@example.com
For more information about Birmingham’s submission or to arrange an interview, contact Press and PR Officer Debbie Harrison at Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 4476