Didsbury volunteer gardeners

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12 Days, 18 Judges, 70 Finalists
and 1 Champion of Champions: The Britain in Bloom with the RHS 2015 UK Finals Judging Tour comes to DIDSBURY

You get to meet some great people in this job like 70 year young Junko Popham (main image above)  originally form Japan, helping out in Parsonage Gardens, and Harry Wood aged 71 (below), also in the gardens in Didsbury.

OAP Gardner

© Mark Waugh

2015 Britain in Bloom with the RHS UK Finals Judging Tour to visit DIDSBURY on 11th August
Green fingered volunteers have been putting their finishing touches to displays in preparation for the judges’ imminent arrival
Group to be judged on three key criteria; horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility

From Coupar Angus to Jersey, Great Yarmouth to Derry, over a 12 day period starting on Monday 3 August, nine pairs of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges will see them all, as the 2015 Britain in Bloom with the RHS UK Finals Judging Tour hits the road in search of the very best in community horticulture… and on 11th August they’re coming to DIDSBURY!

Selected last year to represent North West in the UK finals of Bloom – Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign –DIDSBURY is hoping for top marks in order to be crowned best in category at the glittering Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Sunderland on 16 October. Starting on 3 August, the judging panel of expert horticulturists will criss-cross the country to visit villages, towns and cities that were selected from nearly 1,000 to represent their region or nation in the UK finals.

parsonage gardens didsbury

© Mark Waugh

In DIDSBURY RHS judges Rae Beckwith and Darren Share will meet community representatives and go on a tour of local projects, taking into consideration three key criteria; horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility, demonstrated across public spaces such as town or city centres, parks and communal gardens, as well as natural spaces including conservation areas and wildflower meadows. Each group’s final score also takes into account a whole range of complementary factors, from the condition of street furniture to the engagement of young people in Bloom activities.

More than 230 volunteers have invested over 4500 hours to earn DIDSBURY a place in this year’s finals, transforming derelict land into a community garden / greening grey spaces / brightening up streets and parks with floral displays / litter-picking and street-tidying / growing produce / encouraging local schools to get stuck in gardening and so much more. As part of their commitment to creating green spaces in their communities, this year’s finalists have together planted an astonishing 2,000,000 plants, trees and bulbs over the past year.

old lady oap gardener workking in garden

Manchester Evening News

Pictured above how the story looked in the MEN

Heather Stemp, from Didsbury Bloom group, said: ‘We are thrilled to have been selected to have a place in the Britain in Bloom Finals’

Roger Burnett, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel, said: ‘Many see Britain in Bloom with the RHS as a competition of floral skill but spectacular displays make up only a small part of the judging criteria. We’re keen to see how the finalists have used public green spaces for the benefit of their communities, supported local wildlife and considered the environment in their efforts. I’m sure my fellow judges would join me in wishing good luck to all the 2015 finalists.’

Britain in Bloom started in 1964 and over 50 years on, is now a UK-wide campaign with a strong focus on environmentally responsible practices, and bringing people together. Finalists work with a number of supporting organisations to transform their communities, from local businesses to schools, hospitals and prisons. Nine of this year’s finalists are working with a nearby prison to encourage horticulture as a means by which inmates can develop new skills while making a rewarding contribution to their wider community. In fact, more than half of finalists cite the biggest benefit of being involved in Bloom as bringing the community together. 33% said it is having cleaner and greener surroundings, while 27% say increased civic pride is the most notable impact. Other benefits include improved local economies, better profile of area and a reduction in crime and antisocial behaviour.

Each finalist will be awarded a Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver or Bronze medal. There is also an award for best in category, as well as special discretionary awards given for achieving excellence in particular fields.







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