After a four-year absence from the competition Wellington is to once again enter the SW regional round of Britain in Bloom – a contest it has previously dominated. The town has an enviable record of achievement in the competition, having won the prestigious Portman Cup for towns in the South West of a comparable size no fewer than five times in seven attempts in recent years..
At the AGM last week the Wellington in Bloom Committee voted to re-enter the regional competition after an absence of four years. Britain in Bloom, isrun by the Royal Horticultural Society. Its aims are not simply to persuade us to grow flowers but, far more importantly, to foster and support community involvement, partnership working, volunteering, sustainability, recycling and education.
At the AGM committee member Sue Adams outlined a new scheme for this year’s entry which will involve residents, retailers or other businesses within the local area working together as a group to improve their immediate location. A prize of £500 will be awarded to the winning group. Applicants will be asked to outline their plans for the competition and state what further work they would do over the following 12 months if they won.
The theme of this year’s South West in Bloom competition is ‘It’s your neighbourhood’ which aims to encourage smaller community groups to get involved in initiatives such as cleaning up and greening parts of the local area, a corner of an estate, a back alley or a community centre’s outdoor space.
One further aspect of this year’s Britain in Bloom initiative is to encourage community groups around the UK to plant edible gardens in public spaces under the ‘Edible Britain’ banner.
To get the year off to a good start – although not directly connected to the BIB competition – Gaby Grace of Wellington Transition Group is to plant apple trees in the Trinity Churchyard next to the Medical Centre on Mantle Street in March.