Britain in Bloom relaunched in bid to broaden its appeal

The RHS has relaunched the Britain in Bloom campaign to explode its twee "chocolate box" image as part of the event's 45th birthday.

The UK's biggest and longest-running community gardening campaign was relaunched last week. TV gardeners Charlie Dimmock and Chris Collins joined 200 volunteers in Crawley, West Sussex, to "dispel the myth that the campaign is the preserve of chocolate-box villages", said the RHS.

A representative said the finals involved thousands of volunteers and benefited over 2.2 million residents in cities, towns and villages nationwide. "Yet new research for the RHS shows 78 per cent of us still believe (the campaign) is only for rural villages, while 82 per cent think it is only about adding more plants to local areas.

"By 'new look' we mean a change to the judging criteria. It will now focus on three things: community involvement, caring for the environment and horticulture."

Director-general Inga Grimsey said: "The events are about challenging out-of-date perceptions about the campaign and encouraging more people to get involved."

Britain in Bloom was devised in 1964 by the tourist board as a way of marketing the country. The RHS took over the campaign seven years ago. to comment on this story.

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