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Britain in Bloom

The search is on to find the UK's cleanest, greenest and most beautiful places
Castlecaulfield, Britain in Bloom 2016 Gold winner

From Aberdeen in Scotland down to St Helier in Jersey, pairs of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges will criss-cross the country from 31 July to 11 August to assess the 78 Britain in Bloom finalists.

In the 53rd year of this quintessentially British gardening competition, the judges will visit the villages, towns and cities chosen to fly the flag for their communities in the prestigious UK finals.

Clean, green and beautiful

Bloom groups will be looking to impress the judges with their planting displays, tidy streets and community spirit, in the hope of being crowned one of the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful places in the UK.

Their entries will be marked against three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.

Each finalist will be awarded a Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze medal, depending on the standard reached. There is also an award for being the best in each category (for example the village, town or city category).

‘Britain in Bloom really brings out the best in people and is a force for good across the UK. What started out as a civic pride campaign, has evolved into something that helps tackle some of our most pressing issues. Taking part has far-reaching benefits, whether that is enhancing wellbeing by bringing greenery into urban areas, replacing concrete with planting to reduce the risk of flooding, or bringing people together to improve community cohesion.’

Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel

Champion of champions

This year, Aberdeen (Scotland), Elswick (North West), Harrogate (Yorkshire), Hillsborough (Ulster), Oldham (North West), Portishead (South West) and St Peter Port (Guernsey) will be competing for the title of Champion of Champions, the ultimate Britain in Bloom award.

On top of the category awards, finalists can be nominated for discretionary awards for achieving excellence in particular areas, such as overcoming adversity.

‘The Britain in Bloom judging gives groups the chance to showcase all the wonderful work that they do, all year round.

‘Over the past year alone, our national finalists have planted over a million trees, shrubs, bulbs and other plants, making places greener and more sustainable, and providing areas for the whole community to relax and enjoy. I wish all of this year’s finalists the very best of luck.’

RHS Head of Community Outreach

Gardening in a changing climate

A new discretionary award for 2017 is Gardening in a Changing Climate, which will recognise a group’s commitment to sustainable environmental practices in horticulture.

The awards reflects the recommendations made for gardeners in the RHS Gardening in a Changing Climate report, such as using planting to reduce the risk of flooding, collecting rainwater and reducing, reusing and recycling wherever possible.

The results will be announced at the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales on 27 October.

Transform your community

RHS Britain in Bloom is a nationwide community gardening campaign to transform cities, towns and villages. It has been helping people improve their local environment since 1964.

Each year, more than 3,000 groups participate in this community action to transform spaces. Anybody can register a local group and get stuck in straight away. Once you have registered you’ll receive support and advice to help get you started.

The main image is of Castlecaulfield, a Gold winner of Britain in Bloom 2016.

Click here to register a group and get involved with Britain in Bloom.

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