Green-fingered Richmond residents receive Britain in Bloom award


The event, hosted by presenter Rachel de Thame, also saw the borough come second in the city category.


By Jonathan Waring

Green-fingered Richmond residents are feeling rosy after receiving a silver gilt award at this year’s Britain in Bloom competition.

The borough established its roots in the national event as the sole London entrant this year, finishing runner-up to Stockton in the city category.

TV gardener and presenter Rachel de Thame hosted the event and presented the award to Richmond Borough in Bloom committee members.

Committee chair Patricia Schooling said: “It is a wonderful result, we are absolutely thrilled with it.

“It was very much a community effort involving residents, council and campaign groups such as ours.”

Event judges praised Richmond Council for encouraging both experienced and budding growers to engage in community gardening.

Cllr Virgina Morris, Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, thanked the many residents, schoolchildren and businesses for their support.

She said: “To secure a Silver Gilt award on our first showing in Britain in Bloom is immensely pleasing.”

Panel judges also heralded the council’s ‘bold new initiatives’ to increase biodiversity and create sustainable planting.

Vegetable growing schemes at Manor Road allotments and Terrace Gardens, and the wildflower meadows in Crane Park were highlighted for ‘special mention’.

Richmond Council Parks Operations Manager, Reg Leach, said: “I’m particularly pleased the judges recognised the innovative ways we have been working to improve our parks and open areas.”

“This was a hard fought competition with very little for the judges to choose between our opponents,” he added.

Horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation provided the judgement criteria at the event held in Fife, Scotland on September 25th.

Next year’s event, held in Guernsey in October, will be the first time the Channel Islands host the awards.

Ms Schooling said: “We would love to have a crack at it and go for gold next year.”

Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest horticultural campaign involving more than 1,000 communities each year.

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