Yorkshire Scoops Haul of Awards in Britain in Bloom Competition

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britain in bloom 2017 Harrogate Spring

Yorkshire Scoops Haul of Awards in RHS Britain in Bloom Competition

Harrogate gets Gold as Hutton Cranswick, Otley, Starbeck and Whitby also attain plaudits

Community gardening groups across Yorkshire are celebrating after scooping a haul of medals in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales.

Five groups were chosen to fly the flag for the region following success in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition the previous year.

Harrogate, a contender for the coveted Champion of Champions title, lost out to the Lancashire village of Elswick but was awarded a Gold medal for the exceptionally high standard of the spa town’s entry. The judges were impressed by the outstanding sustainable planting, Woodlands Community Garden with its emphasis on vegetable growing for healthy eating and Valley Gardens –the “jewel in the crown” – that featured a new Japanese garden.

britain in bloom 2017 Harrogate Woodlands Community Garden

Harrogate Woodlands Community Garden

“Environmental responsibility”

The village of Hutton Cranswick in East Yorkshire was also awarded a Gold in the Large Village category. Standout features included the village pond which the judges said “had real wow factor”, the colourful planting around the railway station and the quality of the disease-free horse chestnut trees. The judges also commended the village’s strong sense of community and rewarded Gina Simpson, the Bloom group’s coordinator, with a Community Champion award.

The other three Yorkshire finalists all took home Silver Gilt awards – the market town of Otley, Starbeck, an area of Harrogate, and the seaside town of Whitby.

The five joined Britain in Bloom groups from across the UK at the RHS Britain in Bloom awards ceremony, hosted by TV presenter and renowned garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair.

RHS judges visited the 78 finalists over the summer to assess each group against three key criteria: community participation, environmental responsibility and horticultural achievement.

Depending on the standard reached, a Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze medal is awarded, with a winner in each category and discretionary awards for achieving excellence in particular fields.

britain in bloom 2017 Whitby Fishermans Toil

Fisherman’s Toil, Whitby

“Creativity and ingenuity”

Between them, this year’s Britain in Bloom finalists planted over a million trees, bulbs and other plants, transforming villages, towns and cities into green havens that lift people’s spirits and improve their wellbeing.

Roger Burnett, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “It’s a huge honour to witness how Britain in Bloom brings people together and the lengths that groups go to to make their communities clean, green and beautiful. We saw an incredible diversity of different planting schemes, including wildflower meadows for wildlife, community food growing and plants chosen to cope with our changing climate.

“This year, the standard was as high as ever but what really stood out was the creativity and ingenuity that groups showed in tackling the specific challenges of their particular areas, whether that be lack of funding, local social issues or tricky site conditions.”

Britain in Bloom is now in its 53rd year and, for the first time, a new BBC Two series following the quintessentially British competition is set to air in spring 2018.

The full results for the finalists representing Yorkshire are:

britain in bloom 2017 yorkshire award winners

A Gallery of Yorkshire’s Britain in Bloom winners, 2017

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