News items from the Year
Another Gold for Yorkshire
Harrogate wins Britain in Bloom 2016 Harrogate is celebrating another gold medal in the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom awards, a competition it has previously won 11 times.
Harrogate is renowned for its parks, gardens, public open spaces and clean streets but it is growing its reputation too for joint community effort.
Previously, all In Bloom entries had been led by Harrogate in Bloom and Harrogate Borough Council but in recent years judging places increasing emphasis on how well the whole community works as one. So this year, Harrogate entered as 'Team Harrogate' bringing together the council and 14 voluntary groups who are all involved in making our town better for everyone.
Pam Grant, President of Harrogate in Bloom, said: "We are over the moon to have won our category and to have done it with a gold medal is the icing on the cake. And the cherry on top is that Harrogate has been invited to enter 'Champion of Champions' in Britain in Bloom 2017. The invitation is to enable Harrogate to demonstrate to others examples of our 'best practice'.
Harrogate has won every major In Bloom competition since these regional, national and international awards began in 1964. As well as a dozen Britain in Bloom titles, Harrogate has won the annual Yorkshire in Bloom 33 times.
Pam added: "The few times we didn't didn't win the regional award was when we chose not to enter because we were concentrating effort on the Britain in Bloom awards or the International 'Entente Florale' in which we twice won a gold medal - the only town ever to do that. We have also won discretionary awards for tourism and best public park for the Valley Gardens.
"Harrogate justly deserves this high recognition for its floral and environmental achievements which add value to all areas of our town. This isn't just for residents but for businesses too particularly everything linked to tourism. I think Harrogate is unrivalled but this doesn't just happen. As well as an excellent council Parks and Environmental Services Team, we couldn't do it without some very dedicated volunteers. I think the challenge now is to improve the marketing of our achievements and we will be speaking to the council, Visit Harrogate, Welcome to Yorkshire, and the Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce."
Media contact: President of Harrogate in Bloom, Pam Grant, on 07850 080062 or Harrogate in Bloom Press contact Lynne Mee 07702 313776/email email@example.com
Note to Editors: Team Harrogate includes the following organisations: Harrogate in Bloom, Harrogate Borough Council, Pinewoods Conservation Group, Harrogate District Biodiversity Action Group, North of England Horticultural Society (Harrogate Flower Shows), Harrogate and District Allotments' Federation, Bilton Conservation Group, Harrogate Civic Society, Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Horticap, Rossett Nature Reserve, Woodfield Millennium Green (Millie's Green), Hookstone and Stonefall Action Group, Bachelor Field Friends' Group Friends of the Valley Gardens and Woodlands Community Group.
Britain in Bloom Judges back in town
The sun shone, the streets sparkled and everywhere the flowerbeds were looking fabulous. That's what greeted the 2016 Royal Horticultural Society judges who were in town on Monday, 15 August as Harrogate is once again representing Yorkshire in the annual Britain in Bloom awards which it first won in 1976.
Last summer 72 locations were selected to represent their region in these finals, each hoping to score top marks and be announced category winner at an awards ceremony in Birmingham on 14 October. Harrogate will be competing against Canterbury, Colchester, Derry, Exeter, Loughborough and Rugby.
Harrogate has won many In Bloom titles since 1976 but highlights include twice taking Gold in Entente Florale (Europe in Bloom), receiving special awards for Tourism and having the Valley Gardens chosen as Best Public Park.
Summer months are always busy but Harrogate was ready to wow the judges - although it isn't just about what they saw on the day.
Pam Grant, President of Harrogate in Bloom, said: "As part of the judging, Team Harrogate supported by Harrogate Borough Council has to produce a detailed portfolio to demonstrate that our activities all year round take on board the things the RHS expects to see in a town worthy of winning Britain in Bloom.
"Team Harrogate is made up of all the voluntary groups in Harrogate that work to promote horticultural excellence, take environmental responsibility and aim to build local communities. Those are the three main judging criteria and it makes sense for us to enter national and regional competitions under the umbrella of Team Harrogate. However, that doesn't stop member groups from entering other appropriate categories in their own name.
"The council does an amazing job but as we review the year we never cease to be amazed at how much is also being done by the volunteers who represent Team Harrogate. The judges had limited time in town but they were taken to many of those groups to see activities that involve young and old, the fit and not so fit, the skilled and those just learning, all working with the single aim of making Harrogate special for everyone."
Roger Burnett, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel, said: "Britain in Bloom is a real movement for good that is transforming neighbourhoods, creating communities and bringing the many health and wellbeing benefits of gardening to increasing numbers of people from every walk of life.
"The RHS Britain in Bloom finals are an opportunity to celebrate the tens of thousands of often unheralded volunteers who readily give up their time to improve their local environment. My fellow judges and I are immensely proud to be able to see the fruits of their labour and celebrate the work they do."
Harrogate has never looked better and a lovely summer day certainly added a little bit of 'gold' dust on judging day.
Media contact: Lynne Mee 07702 313776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of Team Harrogate:
Harrogate in Bloom
Harrogate Borough Council
Pinewoods Conservation Group
Harrogate District Biodiversity Action Group
North of England Horticultural Society (Harrogate Flower Shows)
Harrogate and District Allotments' Federation
Bilton Conservation Group
Harrogate Civic Society
Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce
Rossett Nature Reserve
Woodfield Millennium Green
Hookstone and Stonefall Action Group
Bachelor Fields Friends' Group
Friends of Valley Gardens
Woodlands Community Group