Gold plated Wisbech wins major honour at Britain in Bloom finals held in Belfast at the weekend
PUBLISHED: 16:39 21 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:39 21 October 2018
Wisbech walked away with one of the top awards in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) annual Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Belfast on Friday.
The town won the business improvement district (BID) fending off competition that included Paddington in London and St Austell in Cornwall.
Fresh from their triumph of last month after scooping a number of awards in Anglia in Bloom – as well as being crowned overall winner- this was the icing on the cake.
The RHS said Wisbech “impressed the judges with its community spirit, floral displays and project to restore the high street”.
The citation added: “The town has seen a large influx of migrant workers in recent years and has used horticulture to help bring the community together.
“Other highlights included a new community orchard, a ‘putting the beach back into Wisbech’ display and Octavia Hill’s beautifully maintained Birthplace House, co-founder of the National Trust and social reformer.”
Hunstanton and Bury St Edmunds also won awards from the Anglia region.
For Wisbech volunteer Brian Massingham it was a special night in Belfast – he was named community champion.
Finalists are judged on their horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility with the RHS judges visiting communities from the end of July after months of hot and dry weather.
Darren Share, chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “This year’s finalists faced the most challenging conditions the competition has ever seen with much of the country under snow and ice at the start of spring followed by the joint-hottest summer on record.
“That so many groups have walked away with top medals is remarkable and a reflection of communities’ hard work, ingenuity and horticultural know-how.”
BIDs were first given their own category in the RHS Britain in Bloom awards three years ago.
The move was in response to the growing numbers of BIDs who have seen the business benefit of green infrastructure, bright bedding and well-tended streets and have either entered by themselves or along with community groups.
The finalists collected their awards from Chris Bavin, presenter of BBC Two’s Britain in Bloom TV series and guest speaker at the awards ceremony.
Wisbech, Anglia. Gold.
Falkirk, Keep Scotland Beautiful. Gold.
Leeds, Yorkshire. Silver Gilt.
Paddington, London. Silver Gilt.
St Austell, South West. Silver Gilt.