Winners of Britain in Bloom reflect community schemes

Community involvement was the most important trend for the winning towns and cities in this year's Britain in Bloom competition.

The results of the RHS-run contest highlighted the emphasis that the judges placed on strong links between local authorities and communities. Judges' chairman Roger Burnett said although community involvement had always been a big part of the competition, this year it was more evident than ever.

He said: "It is this partnership approach we are seeing. Community involvement is the way forward and we would advocate it as judges. For many years the trend has been for the local authority to be the provider from the cradle to the grave but many of the smaller cities are taking on partnerships and delivering horticultural excellence."

Thirteen finalists won gold and 32 silver-gilt at the In Bloom awards, which were presented at Chester Racecourse last month.

Nottingham scooped the Champion of Champions accolade. Sheffield won the large city category, and picked up discretionary awards in the permanent landscape and environmental quality categories.

"It is very difficult for these large cities to engage with the public on this scale and it is great to see them doing it through Britain in Bloom," said Burnett.

"Smaller communities can do very well by embracing that element and we would welcome more community involvement from some of the larger cities."

Winners include: Nottingham (East Midlands), Champion of Champions; Sheffield (Yorkshire), Large City; Solihull (Heart of England), City; Taunton (South West), Small City/Large Town; Perth (Scotland), Large Town/Small City; Forres (Scotland), Town; Cricklade (South West), Small Town; Falkland (Scotland), Large Village; Earsdon (Northumbria), Village; Ravenfield (Yorkshire), Small Village; Clifton Village, Bristol (South West), Urban Community; Chapelfield, Norwich (Anglia), Urban Regeneration.

- For a full list of winners, see www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom.


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