Community groups are blooming brilliant!

Volunteers, friends and community groups from across the city have been celebrating success, bringing home 29 awards from this year’s South and South East In Bloom campaign.

Horticultural and environmental projects across the city, from small gardening, wildlife and friends groups to city parks, churchyards and cemeteries, have been commended in the annual awards.

Gold awards went to Stanford and Cleveland Community Garden (our community), The Grange Rottingdean (heritage parks and gardens) and Brighton & Hove Extra Mural Cemetery - Woodvale Crematorium  (large cemetery.)

Silver Gilt awards have been won by Hollingbury Park and Woods (large conservation area), St Margaret’s Parish Church, Rottingdean (churchyards), St Peter’s Churchyard and Wildlife Area Volunteers (our community) and Brunswick Town in Bloom which was the winner of the Urban Community category.

Silver awards went to Dyke Road Park (large park) and Sheepcote Valley (large conservation area) while bronze awards were given to Brilliant Brighton in the Business Improvement section and Saunders Park in the small parks section.

The South & South East in Bloom campaign aims to encourage communities to work together to create lasting improvements to their local environment for the benefit of those that live, work and visit.

Participating communities are asked to focus their initiatives on three main areas:

  • Horticultural Achievement
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Community Participation

This means “in Bloom” communities tackle everything from litter, graffiti and anti-social behaviour through to conservation, sustainability and improving horticultural standards, which results in a positive impact on sense of place, community spirit and pride.

Each year hundreds of communities enter their projects for a range of awards, and this year’s results reflect the high standards achieved by volunteer groups in the city.

In the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ category, Brighton & Hove scooped several top awards with Racehill Community Orchard, the Secret Garden Group, St Peters Churchyard and Wildlife Area Volunteers, Stanford and Cleveland Community Garden, all gaining a Level 5 ‘outstanding’ award, while the Friends of Hove Park, Waterloo Street Arch Community Gardens, The Hop 50+ Gardening Group, The Norfolk Square Group, Lansdowne Place and Friends of Preston Manor Gardens, were described as ‘thriving,’ Level 4.

Other accolades went to Brunswick Road Community Garden, Farman Street Garden, Friends of Brunswick Square & Terrace, Lansdowne Street, St Nicholas Green Spaces - Sustain, The Friends of Palmeira & Adelaide,  Friends of Surrenden Field and Woodingdean Community Association.

Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of the environment committee said: “It’s wonderful see such a wide variety of community projects across the city gaining national recognition and the hundreds of hard working volunteers rewarded for their efforts.

“As council budgets are steadily cut, we rely on volunteers to work with our parks staff to maintain and enhance our parks, gardens and other green and spaces.

“By continuing to  work together in this way we can we build on this success and ensure Brighton & Hove blooms well into the future.”