Broughshane takes top award in RHS Britain in Bloom

Broughshane in County Antrim has won the RHS Britain in Bloom Champion of Champions award.


Matt Baker, host of BBC TV’s The One Show, presented the award at a ceremony held in St Peter Port, Guernsey attended by 450 community gardening champions on 6 October.

More than 1,200 UK communities participate each year in the RHS campaign. Of these, 72 finalists were chosen to represent their region/nation in the 2012 UK finals.

A record 24 gold medals were awarded along with 37 silver-gilts. Cricklade won the Champion of Champions award in 2011.

RHS Britain in Bloom UK judging panel chair Roger Burnett led a team of 14 volunteer judges who toured the UK in July and August visiting each finalist. They marked against three key criteria - horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.

Judge John Woodward, who visited Broughshane, described it as "a shining example". He said: "Twenty five years ago, the town was a centre of sectarian problems and the idea of a cohesive community seemed an unlikely possibility.

"Years of solid hard work and vision under the motto ‘Plants, people and pride growing together’ have turned Broughshane into an area of beauty, warmth and charm that has a future as bright as its flowers. Come and visit to see for yourself."

Last year, the RHS released a report demonstrating how RHS Britain in Bloom benefits the physical, social and economic health of the country. It revealed that being involved in the campaign was a key factor in driving visitors and investment into areas, thus improving economic wellbeing.

Local businesses flourish, jobs are created and local authorities save a vast amount of money. Through Britain in Bloom activities, for example, Broughshane (once a derelict village with only one service) now enjoys 150,000 visitors a year and has a number of services, employing 300 local people.

For a full list of winners click here.

Several 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 community-wide participation, among others.

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