Stroud in Bloom volunteers celebrate gold
STROUD volunteers are celebrating after securing gold for a second successive year in the prestigious Britain In Bloom competition.
Park benches made of recycled materials, quaint and colourful hanging baskets, charming floral arrangements and picturesque wildflower sites impressed the judges as they made their way around the town, convincing them Stroud was worthy of the top award.
The result has been hailed as a ‘wonderful achievement’ by Malcolm Tarling, the chairman of Stroud In Bloom, who paid tribute to all the individuals, organisations, businesses and local authorities involved with the entry.
In their comments, judges said they arrived on a ‘gloriously sunny day’ to be greeted by members of the SIB committee and ‘the ever so enthusiastic town crier’.
"The tour started in Stratford Park and it did not disappoint. The edible gardening theme was very much in evidence throughout the tour from both young and old alike; surely no other entry will have done more," the judges wrote.
The maturing 'adopt a plot' sites brightened up otherwise barren land and the many wildflower borders throughout the town were expected to mature very nicely, they added.
Summing up, the judges praised the ‘excellent partnerships’ which had been formed between local authorities, business outlets and conservation groups and said the gold award was ‘very well deserved’.
SIB chairman Malcolm Tarling said: "It was a real team effort. Everybody played their part and it is just a wonderful achievement."
Stroud's entry in the Britain in Bloom competition was judged against three criteria - horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.
A host of local organisations and bodies have contributed this year, including Stroud Valleys Project, Transition Stroud, Stroud District Council and Stroud Town Council.
Funding has also come from public donations as well as from the supermarket retailer Sainsbury's, train company First Great Western and Gloucestershire-based philanthropic organisation The Old Spot Trust.
SIB's gold certificate, which was awarded at a special presentation ceremony at Drayton Manor Park on Thursday, will be on display along with numerous portfolios from previous years at its AGM next month.
It is being held in the Wesley Room at St Alban’s Church in Parliament Street, Stroud, on Monday, October 28, at 7.30pm.
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