By Anna Malina
Britain in Bloom judges, Mark Wasilewski and Keith Jackson visited Silloth on 4th August, 2016 to judge ‘Silloth in Bloom’. The town has been nominated as a finalist in Britain in Bloom’s ‘Small Coastal Town’ category and has been preparing for the visit for some months.
At 8.45am, Mark and Keith were formally welcomed to the town, greeted by Silloth on Solway Town Council Mayor, Tony Markley, the Silloth in Bloom Chairman, Cllr. Bill Jefferson and Golf Hotel owner, Philip Cueto, who provided the hotel venue for the presentation and reception.
After a presentation to Mark and Keith by Anna Malina (Silloth in Bloom Website, Portfolio and Tour Co-ordinator), and Cllr. Bill Jefferson (Silloth in Bloom Chairman), the judges tour began at 9.20am, when the judges crossed Criffel Street to Silloth Green.
The Judges were taken first to the Silloth Green Community Garden, where they met volunteer, Anne Winter, who routinely cares for the Garden.
Several other volunteers were also introduced to Mark and Keith.
The judges were invited to (re)hoist the Green Flag, which was awarded to Silloth in 2016, for the fourth year running.
Mark and Keith were then introduced to representatives from the Council Maintenance Team, Ken Wannop (Parks Manager), and Aaron (Park Supervisor), and the Town Clerk, Wendy Jameson, who responded to questions about their various different roles.
Next came a visit to the Rotary Club Tree, where Fausto Previtali explained the background to the tree and talked about the blooms planted around it.
After viewing the Story Telling Chair, main interpretation signage and the Wishing Well, the judges met Vivian Russell, who described the ideas behind the new bedding plants on Criffel Street.
The judges moved on to view the Mosaic planting. The mosaic was made by youngsters from the local school to celebrate the Millenium.
Then, Mark and Keith had a quick look at Mrs Wilson‘s and the hanging baskets, also a few residential gardens close to Christ Church.
The judges then passed the rare Monkey Puzzle trees at St Andrew’s Church, Silloth, and made their way to the Discovery Centre Garden, outside the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) base, where they chatted to the Women’s Institute Ladies who routinely care for the garden.
After passing the gardens at the Good Companions Care Home, the BMX Track, the Recycling Area and the Town Council Maintenance Yard, the judges made their way to the Heritage Rose and Bee Garden, where they spoke at length to volunteer, Vivian Russell. Vivian, who designed and planted the garden and cares for it routinely, described the layout and the plants that attract little visitors and help protect the environment.
Judges shown round the Bee garden by Vivian Russell who has spent around 3000 hours as a volunteer growing from seed, planting and nurturing the garden. Photos Anna Malina.
The judges spent some time reading the information on the Lecturns, one of which is placed at each end of the entrance to the Heritage Rose and Bee Garden. The layout, the plants used and the insects attracted to the garden are all described in detail, so providing visitors with the information needed to plant their own gardens for pollinators.
After spending a considerable amount of time in the Bee Garden, the judges made their way to the Victorian Pagoda on Silloth Green, noting the directional heritage panels above the viewing windows and the panoramic view over the Solway Firth to Dumfries in Scotland.
Unfortunately, the judges were too early in the day to view the wonderful Silloth Sunsets
Next stop was the RNLI Station to meet Eddie Studholme and some of the Lifeboat Crew, who described the course they ran recently for youngsters to instill a sense of responsibility and care for the community.
Next the judges were ferried by car to the new planting beds at the entrance to Hylton Park, sponsored by Stanwix Holiday Park.
The next stop was Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club, where the judges discussed biodiversity and care of the course with the Course Groundsman.
After a little more than the planned two and a half hour tour, the judges returned to meet volunteers and have a well deserved lunch at the Golf Hotel.
‘Silloth in Bloom’ members thank Mark and Keith for their visit and wish them well.
The Britain in Bloom Awards Ceremony will take place in Birmingham on 14th October, 2016, at which time the competition winners will be announced.
Content and photos Anna Malina. email firstname.lastname@example.org