We hope that residents noticed the great improvements in the look of the village in the last few months with floral enhancements and general tidying up. For the first time Acocks Green Village was entered into the Britain in Bloom competition, under the ‘Urban Category’. Many locals helped tidy and plant up flowerbeds, weed overgrown reservations and encourage people to take a pride in their surroundings. Businesses and the council helped by repairing crumbling walls and dealing with dumped rubbish. The whole project was overseen with the vision, dedication and tireless hardwork and enthusiasm of local resident and RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) volunteer – Fran Lee.
In July the Britain in Bloom judges toured our centre to look at the work that the volunteers had put into improving the village and this month medals were awarded to community groups around the country. Britain in Bloom is an initiative organised by the Royal Horticultural Society in which communities can illustrate their civic pride by enhancing their local area.
In towns and cities, most of the input comes from the local authority but does involve schools and communities whereas those entries from villages, urban areas and neighbourhoods are mainly organised by volunteers.
Our region is organised by The Heart of England in Bloom which has formed a panel of judges who visit each entry usually in July to judge each entry. Nowadays it is not all about flowers although Horticultural Achievement does attract 40% of the marks. This year, the RHS asked entrants to plant wild flowers or single flowering plants as pollinators for our ailing bee population. The team of volunteers planted lots of these in Acocks Green this year. ‘In Bloom’ is also about maintenance of the fabric of an area, keeping it litter and graffiti free, keeping the street furniture in good condition and the fabric of the area, for example keeping walls in good repair. Another important element is to encourage community spirit. People are brought together by working on projects in their area. It also encourages communities to come together to raise funds for projects but also for charity.
Acocks GreenVillage gained a Bronze award which was a first for the village. Also Cottesbrooke Junior School gained Bronze and Acocks Green Primary School gained Silver in the School Grounds campaign. In Fox Hollies, they gained Outstanding and Pemberley Road gained Thriving in the Neighbourhood Awards.
These Bloom initiatives are deemed to be very important in creating a better society for the future by bringing people together to take pride in their area.
If you are interested in becoming involved in future Bloom projects in Acocks Green then contact the BID Manager Sandy Gianni by email: email@example.com
It is exciting that we have won a bronze award for Britain in Bloom. I think Fran’s distinctive ‘Arts and Crafts’ style approach to gardening has been just right for Acocks Green, with its informal cottage garden use of native plants to naturalise and spread, and the colours are lovely.
Well said Julia.