Volunteer gardeners from Norton in Hales will be celebrating this morning after being named ‘Champion of Champions’ at last night’s RHS Britain in Bloom Awards 2015 ceremony. For a small Shropshire village of only 300 people, this highly contested accolade is an amazing achievement. Then again, Norton in Hales looks like an idyllic place to live, complete with scenic countryside walks, lashings of yummy strawberry tea and fun summer BBQs at the bowling green club.
Britain in Bloom was launched by the British Tourist Authority over 50 years ago as a way to attract visitors to the UK through floral displays. In 2001, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) took over as organisers and have developed the project to include a greater focus on community participation and environmental responsibility. This is now the UK’s biggest community gardening campaign, involving up to 300,000 passionate local volunteers, who work year-round to keep our neighbourhoods and streets green, clean, thriving and, well, utterly blooming.
Shropshire’s most north easterly village and parish scooped the top prize at 2015’s awards evening, thanks to some excellent green spaces created by the local community and the sheer variety of plants on display. Moreover, at the centre of the village’s extensive recycling network is a project called ‘ground to ground’ that sees coffee granules and bark mulch transformed into fertiliser and slug repellent.
Britain in Bloom’s judges described Norton in Hales as a “beautiful picturesque rural village set in the Heart of England”. Of course, this being Britain, the rain never stays away for too long. It apparently poured down during the judges’ visit to Norton in Hales in August. Luckily, this didn’t put a damper on events or the judges’ enthusiasm for what the villagers had achieved.
“Like Norton in Hales, the Bloom finalists represent how best to use public green space for the benefit of people, plants and the planet,” says Andrea Van Sittart, head of community development at RHS. “It is our hope that more and more people will be inspired to set up or join their local Britain in Bloom with the RHS group so the impact of this transformative campaign will continue to grow.”
White Stores would like to offer our hearty congratulations to the winning gardeners from Norton in Hales, along with all the other talented Britain in Bloom finalists this year. We can’t wait to see what you’ve all got planned for Britain’s gardens and outdoor spaces in 2016!
Norton in Hales in Bloom