Three north Cumbrian towns shortlisted for Britain In Bloom

bibwithrhs-ukfinalist2017Beautiful, green and clean.  North Cumbria is boasting three finalists in this year’s Britain in Bloom competition.

Dalston, near Carlisle, Silloth and Penrith Business Improvement District (BID) – along with Kendal – have been selected to represent the county at the country’s biggest horticultural awards.

They have been chosen for their commitment to environmental responsibility, high levels of community participation and their outstanding gardening achievement.

To read the full article which was published in the News & Star on 2 February 2017 click here.

 

SILLOTH – BEES’ NEEDS AWARD

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We are proud to announce that the Heritage Rose & Bee Garden on Silloth Green has won a Bees’ Needs Award.

The Award is run in conjunction with Defra and the National Pollinator Strategy. The Award is presented to Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award winning parks and green spaces in England that have made improvements to encourage pollinators across towns, cities and the wider countryside.  Silloth Green has been awarded a Green Flag for four years in succession. The coveted award is a benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK. It recognises that the Green meets the extremely high standards set by Keep Britain Tidy.

Habitat loss is a key factor affecting pollinator population and this award is looking to increase awareness and contribute to improved pollinator-friendly environments.  Applicant sites are required to prove that they are making positive changes to their green spaces that encourage and increase pollinator-friendly habitats and food sources throughout the year.

A panel of experts selected winners, with the top five projects being presented with their Award at a special event which will take place at Kew Gardens, London on Tuesday 8th November.  Vivian Russell will be attending the Bees’ Needs Champions event on behalf of Silloth.

Tony Markley, Mayor of Silloth said

“This is a fantastic achievement for Silloth and is a continuation of the achievements of recent years. None of this would have been possible without teamwork.  Vivian has led the project, with support from the Town Council’s grounds maintenance team and other volunteers.  The Bee Hotel was novel idea for a seaside town and replicates the Pagoda up on the hill which overlooks the sea.  We always welcome visitors to the town but the Bee Hotel provides visitors of the insect variety with a place to stay too.”

The sunken Heritage Rose Garden was created in 1953 to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  Measuring 30m by 20m, it lies close to the sea, protected for the most part by a shelter belt of rhododendron and holly. The garden was renovated in 2012 but by mid 2014, many of the roses were failing due to poor drainage caused by compaction in the underlying clay base. Rectifying the drainage would still have left the problem of rose sickness, requiring the replacement of tons of earth. This led to a complete rethink of the garden.  Silloth Town Council decided to bring the garden into the 21st century and address pressing concerns over the welfare of our bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, while at the same time preserving the history of the site.

The garden has now been entirely replanted with bee and butterfly friendly plants, including 40 roses which attract bees and withstand the wind blowing off the sea where the garden is exposed.

Rose hedges divide the garden into four sections: garden plants for bees facing the sea, wild flowers for bees facing the Arcade, butterfly plants facing the Green, and a decorative vegetable plot around hazel wigwams with a double row of dahlias.

The roses were planted in cardboard boxes using fresh soil, as this is the best method of dealing with ‘rose sickness’.

In the middle of the garden is our Bee Hotel, a replica of the Victorian Pagoda at the top of the wooded hill above the Splash Pool, built by the Silloth Green Maintenance team. The sunny side facing the Green is dedicated to nesting sites for solitary bees, the other three sides serve as winter hibernation and shelter for all the insects which we hope will visit our garden.

Interpretation panels have been installed with more detail about the garden, the types of bees and butterflies it is planted for, and info on the life cycle of bumblebees, honeybees and solitary bees.

As the new Bee Garden began to flourish and the bees, bugs and butterflies began to arrive, word spread and local people began to develop interest.  Word soon spread beyond Silloth too, and people of all ages travelled from many different locations to visit the garden. The garden’s creator Vivian Russell, has spent many hours talking to them, discussing the different species of bees, bugs and butterflies, as well as the many different plants in the garden.

The Bee and Bug Hotel provides nesting sites for solitary bees and a dry place for butterflies, moths, beetles, ladybirds, lacewings and earwigs to shelter and over winter.  Each insect has a role to play in a garden and we rely on the diversity of plants and creatures to help the garden function as a natural balanced ecosystem with no attempt to control or interfere with their lives.

The garden has become a place where everyone can come on a sunny day, sit on the grassy bank, on one of the many benches, or on their mobility scooters and watch the beauty of nature at work.

Bill Jefferson OBE, Chair of the Parks Committee and Chair of Silloth in Bloom Community Team said

“I am delighted that Vivian’s major creation of the Silloth Bee Garden has received national specialist success, coming on top of the Royal Horticultural Society tributes from this year’s judges at Cumbria and National level. It has been an outstanding personal achievement for all her hard work and professional dedication. Well done and all our thanks.”

In the 2016 Cumbria in Bloom competition, the Heritage Rose & Bee Garden was a winner of the Royal Horticultural Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Award, gaining a Level 5 ‘Outstanding’ result. The Heritage Rose and Bee Garden was also winner of the Royal Horticultural Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ National Certificate of Distinction.

Vivian Russell was recognised for her ‘Outstanding contribution to Cumbria in Bloom’ with a ‘joint’ Community Champion Award, which acknowledges all the hours she has spent working on the Heritage Rose and Bee Garden, planting of the flower beds and planters on Criffel Street and supporting the various Silloth in Bloom projects this year.

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Britain in Bloom UK Finals Awards Ceremony 2016

It’s a Silver Gilt Award for Silloth!

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In February of this year, Silloth received the news that it had been shortlisted as a finalist in the Britain in Bloom competition in the Coastal – Population up to 12K category, alongside contenders from St Brelade, Newcastle (NI), Bute, Mablethorpe, Filey and Tenby.  After months of preparation, various meetings and a lot of work by the whole community, the judges from Britain in Bloom, Keith Jackson and Mark Wasilewski, visited the town on 4 August.

29697360133_94240e7804_k2After weeks of trepidation, the Britain in Bloom UK Finals Awards Ceremony 2016, took place on 14 October at Edgbaston Stadium, in Birmingham.  Almost 500 delegates from all over the country attended the presentation, with Silloth represented by Bill Jefferson (Chair of Silloth in Bloom), Tony Markley (Mayor of Silloth), Wendy Jameson (Town Clerk and Secretary of Silloth in Bloom) and volunteers, Vivian Russell and Anne Winter.

30212241052_54bcd914be_k1Silloth-on-Solway were honoured to receive a Silver Gilt Award for the Coastal Town (up to 12k) category, with St Brelade in Jersey being the overall category winner.  Bill Jefferson and Tony Markley were presented with the award by Roger Burnett, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel.

Tony Markley, Mayor of Silloth said

“This is a fantastic achievement for the town.  Special thanks go to the Silloth in Bloom team, community volunteers, local businesses and the Town Council’s grounds maintenance team, as this could not have been achieved without them. Silloth is the most North Westerly town in England and it is phenomenal to have gained national recognition for a small town, with a population of less than 3000 people.”

“Working together with the Councils, business and local community can be both challenging and rewarding but the results are so beneficial for the town which has been proven this year, with the outstanding awards and comments received from residents and visitors.”

Bill Jefferson OBE, Chairman of Silloth in Bloom said

“Silloth-on-Solway is delighted to have received national recognition at Birmingham; the success is down to many and there have been several outstanding efforts from individual volunteers. The role of successive RHS judges (and Green Flag) at Cumbria in Bloom and Britain in Bloom has been absolutely crucial over the years in enabling Silloth to progress to this level and I thank them all, most sincerely, for their valuable time and professional advice. We are very proud to receive our award on behalf of our town.”

“The impact on our small community on succeeding nationally cannot be over-estimated. Success at Cumbria level over the last three or four years has been hard won, progressive and encouraging.  National level has represented a serious step up for us but our community has risen to the challenge beyond expectation.  We must now focus, not only on celebrating our achievements, but also on sustaining them. Standing still is not an option, but today, we can all feel proud.”

30293217926_b2ae6a3a91_kThe RHS Britain in Bloom UK Finals brings together the highest achievers from all of the 16 regions and nations participating in the campaign and, as a result, the expectations are high and the judging is rigorous.  The judges look for year round achievements in three core areas:  Horticultural Achievement, Environmental Responsibility and Community Participation.  Keith and Mark, the Britain in Bloom judges said “this first time entry will surely continue to grow from strength to strength and is most certainly one to watch for the future.  This young Bloom group could be the catalyst for great change within the community and the judges look forward to hearing of the progress made in the years to come”.

Also representing Cumbria at the Awards ceremony were Dalston and Kendal.  Dalston achieved a Silver Gilt Award in the Large Village Category and Kendal were awarded a Silver Gilt in the Large Town category, with an additional Award for Overcoming Adversity, for brightening up the town after the December floods.  A tremendous achievement by all three groups from Cumbria.

30293183036_c65e9cff0d_kThe final presentation of the evening was the RHS Britain in Bloom Community Champion Award which is the only RHS award given to individuals, in recognition of their exceptional commitment and dedication to Britain in Bloom in their community.  Bill Jefferson OBE, was presented with a well-deserved Community Champion Award, much to his shock and surprise.  Bill has been involved with Silloth’s ‘in Bloom’ activities for the last 3 years and is Chairman of the Silloth in Bloom community team.  Bill is also a Town Councillor, an Allerdale Councillor, Chairman of the Solway Coast AONB and a member of the Lake District National Park.

Cumbria in Bloom Awards – Photographs

The Cumbria in Bloom Awards took place at the North Lakes Hotel in Penrith on Thursday 8 September 2016.  A strong contingent from Silloth attended the Awards ceremony and were delighted with some brilliant results.

Silloth-on-Solway won the Cumbria in Bloom Coastal Resort Trophy for the third year running and achieved a Gold Award.

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Silloth also won the Amberol award for the Best Sustainable Development.

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John Cook (below) receiving the Allerdale Trophy for the “Best in Borough”.

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Picture below of John Cook, Chris Graham and Vivian Russell receiving the Rickerby Ltd Trophy, as Best Overall Town and Urban Community.

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The Discovery Centre garden which is looked after by the Causewayhead WI ladies was runner up in the Special Category for the Continental Landscapes Trophy.  The award was collected by Ann Harrison, Pat Bell and Jean Carr, members of the Causewayhead WI.

Silloth Golf Club was runner up for the Cumbria Tourism Rose Bowl awarded to Self-catering Establishments & Visitor Attractions.  Below is a picture of Brian Story and Alan Oliver at the Golf Club receiving their award from the Mayor of Silloth, Tony Markley.

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In addition, the Community Garden and the Heritage Rose & Bee Garden were individual winners of the Royal Horticultural Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Awards, each gaining a Level 5 ‘Outstanding’ result. The Heritage Rose and Bee Garden was also winner of the Royal Horticultural Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ National Certificate of Distinction.

Picture below of Vivian Russell receiving her Community Champion Award for her ‘Outstanding contribution to Cumbria in Bloom’, which acknowledges all the hours she has spent working on the Heritage Rose and Bee Garden, planting of the flower beds and planters on Criffel Street and supporting the various Silloth in Bloom projects this year.

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Picture below of representatives from Silloth, with some of the awards won by the town.

Back row (left to right) – Wendy Jameson, Chris Graham, John Cook, Vivian Russell, Anne Winter.

Front row (left to right) – Pat Bell, Ann Harrison, Jean Carr.

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Silloth wins Cumbria in Bloom Awards

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PRESS RELEASE – 8 September 2016

The Cumbria in Bloom Awards took place at the North Lakes Hotel in Penrith on Thursday 8 September 2016.  A strong contingent from Silloth attended the Awards ceremony and were delighted with some brilliant results.

Silloth-on-Solway has won the Cumbria in Bloom Coastal Resort Trophy for the third year running and achieved a Gold Award.  In addition, Silloth won the Friends of the Lake District Trophy for the Best Sustainable Development Town, the Allerdale Trophy for “Best in Borough” and the Rickerby Ltd Trophy, as Best Overall Town and Urban Community.

The Discovery Centre garden which is looked after by the Causewayhead WI ladies was runner up in the Special Category for the Continental Landscapes Trophy.  Silloth Golf Club was runner up for the Cumbria Tourism Rose Bowl awarded to Self-catering Establishments & Visitor Attractions.

In addition, the Community Garden and the Heritage Rose & Bee Garden were individual winners of the Royal Horticultural Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Awards, each gaining a Level 5 ‘Outstanding’ result. The Heritage Rose and Bee Garden was also winner of the Royal Horticultural Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ National Certificate of Distinction.

Vivian Russell was recognised for her ‘Outstanding contribution to Cumbria in Bloom’ with a ‘joint’ Community Champion Award, which acknowledges all the hours she has spent working on the Heritage Rose and Bee Garden, planting of the flower beds and planters on Criffel Street and supporting the various Silloth in Bloom projects this year.

Bill Jefferson, Chairman of Silloth in Bloom Community Group, Chair of Silloth Parks Committee and Allerdale Executive Portfolio Holder for Tourism attended today’s Cumbria in Bloom awards ceremony. He said after the event: “I am delighted that Silloth has been recognised with such a cluster of important awards. It reflects the new level which Silloth has reached over the past four years and is a credit to all members of our community, especially the volunteers and the town team. My thanks to them all.”

In recent years, Silloth has won several Cumbria in Bloom Awards but being told that Silloth had been nominated as a finalist in the UK wide RHS ‘Britain in Bloom’ Campaign has encouraged even more businesses, volunteers and local groups to get involved and the ‘Silloth in Bloom’ team was formed. The clear aim was to continue supporting existing volunteer projects and take innovative new ideas forward prior to judging day.

Tony Markley, Mayor of Silloth said “This is a fantastic achievement for the town of Silloth.  Special thanks go to Bill Jefferson, who chaired the Silloth in Bloom team and to everyone involved over the last few years.  Silloth is absolutely blooming and has gained the recognition it deserves.”

A dedicated Silloth in Bloom website was set up – https://sillothinbloom.wordpress.com/ – to provide on-line information about ‘Silloth in Bloom and the campaign to establish Silloth as a Cumbria and Britain in Bloom winner’. The Silloth in Bloom Facebook Page can be viewed at:-  https://www.facebook.com/sillothinbloom/

The Cumbria in Bloom awards are a tremendous achievement for the whole town and reflects all the hard work and preparation put in by everyone concerned, over many months. The ethos of Cumbria in Bloom is the participation of people working together to help retain, develop and improve the environment of their own communities. This is something Silloth has very much taken on board and needs a huge pat on the back for what it’s achieved.

It is vital we try to maintain the high standards we’ve achieved, so if you have a few hours to spare and would be interested in lending a hand, then please get in touch.

Silloth was shortlisted as a finalist in the Britain in Bloom (BiB) national awards in the Small Coastal Town (less than 12000 population) category alongside contenders from St Brelade, Newcastle (NI), Bute, Mablethorpe, Filey and Tenby. We now have to patiently wait for the Britain in Bloom Awards Ceremony which takes place in Birmingham on 14th October 2016, at which time the competition winners will be announced.

For further information, photos and to arrange interviews, please contact

Wendy Jameson, Secretary of Silloth in Bloom.  Email: townclerk@silloth-on-solway.co.uk  Mobile: 0777 5686857.

ENDS

Britain in Bloom Finalist

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