Oldham awarded gold medal for Britain in Bloom competition
Date published: 28 October 2019
Oldham Town Centre
The North West’s community gardeners are celebrating today after walking away with a haul of medals in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) annual Britain in Bloom competition, announced at a ceremony last night.
Four finalists represented the region following success in the North West in Bloom competition last year.
A total of 68 groups from across the UK competed in 12 categories with each also vying for a gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medal.
Both Oldham and the market town of Garstang, Lancashire, were awarded gold medals in the City and Small Town categories respectively.
Oldham impressed the judges with its excellent floral displays and environmental efforts, from wildflower meadows and other pollinator-friendly plantings to a living roof at Gallery Oldham.
Jewel in the crown was an “outstanding” large-scale lunar landscape of low-growing plants, complete with astronauts, to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Garstang was applauded for harnessing the power of gardening to benefit people’s physical and mental health, including the building of a sensory garden to support those with dementia and the medical centre’s prescribing of gardening.
Lancashire village Catterall and Cheshire town Wilmslow both took home silver gilt medals.
Finalists are judged not only on their floral displays but environmental and community efforts. Each was visited by a pair of RHS judges over a fortnight from the end of July.
Darren Share, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said, “Congratulations to all of this year’s UK finalists. It’s incredibly humbling to hear about the huge efforts they’ve invested in making our villages, towns and cities greener places to live, work and visit.
“This makes a tremendous difference locally but has a wider impact too. Gardeners are increasingly having to respond to the changing climate, declining pollinator numbers and plastic waste and more communities are galvanizing people around these issues to bring about positive change.”
The North West finalists collected their awards from Baroness Floella Benjamin, RHS Vice President, at the ceremony held in the RHS Lindley Hall, London.
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