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Documents: Communities in Bloom:

2003 Britain In Bloom Awards
by Bianca Lapins
October 3, 2003

Representatives of 61 towns, cities and villages from across the UK gathered at the London Guildhall last night (30 September 2003) for the results of the 2003 Britain in Bloom UK Finals, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK's leading gardening charity, in partnership with B&Q.

Monty Don, (gardening writer, broadcaster and organic gardener), presented four Gold, 14 Silver Gilt, 25 Silver and 17 Bronze Britain in Bloom Achievement Awards, in addition to 10 Discretionary Awards and the category winner announcements. Gold Award winners were Nottingham (Large City, East Midlands, category winner), Harrogate (Large Town, Yorkshire, category winner), Darley (Large Village, Yorkshire, category winner) and Berrynarbor (Large Village, South West).

The campaign benefits UK communities through the enhancement of local surroundings, stimulating civic pride, greater levels of cleanliness and decreased vandalism. It also stimulates voluntary work between community groups and addresses Local Agenda 21 and sustainable development issues such as composting, energy conservation and waste minimisation.

Bob Sweet, Chairman of the Britain in Bloom Judges said; "It has been great to see so many of this year's entries responding to the sustainability theme that the RHS introduced for 2003." The judges┬╣ highlighted the Greene King Meadows in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, as a good example of a sustainable development project. Working together with the Westgate Brewery, the former dumpsite has been revived to form an important part of the town's green open spaces. Wildlife has returned, improving local biodiversity, and old historic hedges and tree belts continue to be restored. Bury St Edmunds received the 2003 Britain in Bloom Conservation Award.

B&Q Director of Social Responsibility, Ray Baker said; "As a retailer, we are committed to reducing the environmental and social impacts of our business. Community interaction forms an important part of that programme and all of our Stores are working hard to be 'better neighbours' in their local communities. Our support for the Britain in Bloom campaign reflects our endeavours to inspire community groups up and down the country to use their enthusiasm and innovation towards improving their local environments in a sustainable way".

Andrew Colquhoun, RHS Director General said, "Congratulations to all communities that took part in the campaign this year. We look forward to helping more UK communities create long term improvements to their local environments in 2004 and beyond."

A Britain in Bloom Gardeners' World Special focussing on several 2003 UK Finalist entries will be screened on BBC at 8pm on Sunday 5 October 2003.

visit http://www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom

for the complete list of winners.

Britain in Bloom is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, the UK's leading gardening charity, in partnership with B&Q. Britain in Bloom is the largest horticultural campaign in Europe and is focused around four pillars (horticultural good practice, community involvement, environmental friendliness and sustainability).

Each year a different community hosts the Britain in Bloom Awards Presentation. In 2002 the awards were held in Aberdeen and Leeds will host the 2004 event.

The 2003 Britain in Bloom Awards were hosted by the Corporation of London. The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Gavyn Arthur presided over the occasion.

Email: biancal@rhs.org.uk
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