Last night (October 14), Birmingham scooped a Gold award in the Champion of Champions category at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals Awards Ceremony, also held in Birmingham. The event was hosted by TV Gardening Expert Chris Beardshaw.
Birmingham, which represented the Heart of England region, was one of only six areas from across the UK chosen to compete in the coveted Champion of Champions category of the awards. Birmingham’s medal, the highest available, confirms its position as arguably the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful large city in Britain.
The city was further honored by RHS judges who awarded it the first ever ‘RHS Britain in Bloom Award for Overcoming Adversity’. The award was given in recognition of the way the community pulled together to combat the effects of two floods that hit Edgbaston Guinea Gardens in June.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for clean streets, recycling and environment, Cllr Lisa Trickett, said: “This award not only recognises the creativity and sheer hard work of our parks team, but also the invaluable contributions made by the thousands of volunteers across the city.
“Last week, a poll of Brummies showed that the thing they love most about Birmingham is our parks and open spaces and this week we have been crowned Champion of Champions. We have consistently achieved Gold Awards for our floral displays across the city for the last 11 years, and I am convinced that this is due to the partnerships we have with our residents and their love for our parks.”
The RHS Britain in Bloom Awards ceremony celebrates the huge contribution made by the 300,000 Bloom volunteers whose hard work and dedication help transform what are often grey and unloved areas into greener, cleaner and more beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy.
Over the summer, teams of RHS judges travelled the length and breadth of the country to see the 72 finalists’ Bloom campaigns to determine who would lift the top prizes. Each finalist was assessed against three key criteria: community participation, environmental responsibility and of course, horticultural achievement.
Chairman of the UK Judging Panel, Roger Burnett said: “This has been a truly outstanding year for Britain in Bloom with local communities devoting tremendous amounts of time and effort into greening grey areas and sharing the many health and social benefits of horticulture.
“The judges were very impressed by the way communities refused to let the many challenges they faced hold them back. The finalists’ desire and determination to make their environment as green and pleasant as possible was truly humbling.
“We as judges are privileged to have a front row seat to see Britain in Bloom volunteers change the lives of thousands through their work. And it’s fitting that their efforts are recognised and celebrated.”
The 72 Britain in Bloom finalists were vying for Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze medals, category winner awards and discretionary awards for achieving excellence in particular fields.
The main results of the RHS Britain in Bloom UK Finals Awards are listed below.
For more information about RHS Britain in Bloom visit www.rhs.org.uk/communities
Britain in Bloom with the RHS 2016 UK Finals Awards:
|ENTRY||CATEGORY||REGION / NATION||AWARD|
|Aberdeen||City||Scotland||Gold & Category Winner|
|Ahoghill||Champion of Champion (SmallTown)||Ulster||Gold & Category Winner|
|Amersham||Town||Thames & Chilterns||Silver Gilt|
|Barwick in Elmet||Large Village||Yorkshire||Gold|
|Beer||Large Village||South West||Silver Gilt|
|Belfast City||Large City||Ulster||Gold|
|Birmingham||Champion of Champion (LargeCity)||Heart of England||Gold|
|Bournemouth||Coastal over 12k||South & South East||Gold|
|Bute||Coastal up to 12k||Scotland||Silver Gilt|
|Canterbury||Small City||South & South East||Gold|
|Castlecaulfield||Village||Ulster||Gold & Joint Category Winner|
|City of London||Town||London||Silver Gilt|
|Cleethorpes||Champion of Champion(Coastal over 12k)||East Midlands||Silver Gilt|
|Colchester||Small City||Anglia||Silver Gilt|
|Coleraine||Large Town||Ulster||Gold & Category Winner|
|Colwyn Bay||Large Town||Wales||Silver Gilt|
|Congleton||Large Town||North West||Gold|
|Dalston||Large Village||Cumbria||Silver Gilt|
|Deal||Coastal over 12k||South & South East||Silver Gilt|
|Dufftown||Large Village||Scotland||Silver Gilt|
|Durham||Champion of Champion (LargeTown)||Northumbria||Gold|
|Elswick||Village||North West||Gold & Joint Category Winner|
|Evington||Urban Community||East Midlands||Silver|
|Exeter||Small City||South West||Silver Gilt|
|Exmouth||Coastal over 12k||South West||Silver Gilt|
|Farnham||Large Town||South & South East||Silver Gilt|
|Filey||Coastal up to 12k||Yorkshire||Gold|
|Freckleton||Small Town||North West||Gold & Category Winner|
|Gogarth (Llandudno)||Urban Community||Wales||Silver Gilt|
|Great Yarmouth||Urban Community||Anglia||Silver Gilt|
|Haddington||Town||Scotland||Gold & Category Winner|
|Harrogate||Small City||Yorkshire||Gold & Category Winner|
|Hillsborough||Large Village||Ulster||Gold & Category Winner|
|Kendal||Large Town||Cumbria||Silver Gilt|
|Kippax||Urban Community||Yorkshire||Gold & Category Winner|
|London Borough of Ealing||Large City||London||Silver Gilt|
|London Borough of Havering||City||London||Silver Gilt|
|London Borough of TowerHamlets||City||London||Silver Gilt|
|Loughborough||Small City||East Midlands||Gold|
|Lytham||Champion of Champion(Coastal up to 12k)||North West||Gold|
|Mablethorpe||Coastal up to 12k||East Midlands||Silver|
|Mancroft, The Lanes||Urban Community||Anglia||Silver|
|Market Harborough||Large Town||East Midlands||Gold|
|Mathern with Pwllmeyric & Mounton||Village||Wales||Silver Gilt|
|Middleton by Wirksworth||Village||East Midlands||Silver Gilt|
|Midsomer Norton||Town||South West||Silver Gilt|
|Newcastle||Coastal up to 12k||Ulster||Silver Gilt|
|Portishead||Large Town||South West||Gold|
|Rugby||Small City||Heart of England||Gold|
|Ryde||Large Town||South & South East||Silver Gilt|
|Silloth-on-Solway||Coastal up to 12k||Cumbria||Silver Gilt|
|Southport||Coastal over 12k||North West||Gold & Category Winner|
|St Brelade||Coastal up to 12k||Jersey||Gold & Category Winner|
|St George||Urban Community||South West||Silver|
|St Martin||Town||Guernsey||Silver Gilt|
|St Peter Port||Coastal over 12k||Guernsey||Gold|
|St Pierre du Bois||Champion of Champion
(Coastal up to 12k)
|St Saviour||Small Town||Jersey||Silver Gilt|
|Studley||Small Town||Heart of England||Silver Gilt|
|Tenby||Coastal up to 12k||Wales||Silver Gilt|
|Upton upon Severn||Large Village||Heart of England||Silver Gilt|
|Walthamstow Village||Urban Community||London||Silver Gilt|
|Whitehead||Small Town||Ulster||Silver Gilt|
|Wigan||Large City||North West||Gold & Category Winner|
Notes to the Editor:
Britain in Bloom with the RHS
- UK’s biggest community gardening campaign involves up to 300,000 passionate local volunteers who work year-round to keep our neighbourhoods and streets green, clean and thriving.
- Bloom was started by the British Tourist Authority as a way to attract visitors to the UK through floral displays. In 2001, the RHS took over as organisers and have developed the campaign to include greater focus on community participation and environmental responsibility.
- In 2006, the RHS launched a new grass roots level for Bloom – It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) – which is aimed at small volunteer groups (such as youth groups, ‘Friends of’ groups, etc.) and has grown from 342 to nearly 2,300 groups.
- Since 1964, Bloom has evolved from what many saw as a rural hanging basket competition to a major socio-environmental campaign that is improving villages, towns and cities across the UK
Gold (Overall 170–200 points; 85% and above)
An exceptionally high standard demonstrated throughout. A consistent approach that demonstrates best practice, continuing development and sustainable effort. Meets all of the judging criteria and scores very highly in every section of the marking sheet.
Silver Gilt (Overall 150–169 points; 75–84%)
A high-standard entry that meets virtually all of the judging criteria and includes sections of exceptionally high standards. Exemplifies best practice in multiple areas and demonstrates very high potential for continuing development and sustainable effort.
Silver (Overall 120–149 points; 60–74%)
Considered to be an above-average entry that meets many of the judging criteria. The entry will include more than one sub-section that demonstrates exceptionally high standards. In particular, the entry will demonstrate a clear potential to improve in several areas and for sustainable effort.
Bronze (Overall 100-119 points; 50-59%)
An average entry that meets some but not necessarily all of the judging criteria. The entry will include at least one subsection that demonstrates a very high standard but the standards will not be consistent throughout. There will be some evidence of the potential to improve and of the ability to sustain effort.
No award (Overall 0-99 points; 0-49%)
The entry may have a number of good merits and may have done very well in its category in the region; however, the entry has not met the judging criteria to a national standard. The entry is not sufficiently developed to achieve any of the RHS Britain in Bloom medals.
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.