Bloom team is congratulated by Berwick Town Council

Berwick Town Council has congratulated all those involved in Berwick's success in the Northumbria in Bloom contest, notably Bernard and Margaret Shaw.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16 November, 2018, 11:10
The presentation of the Gold Award to the Mayor, Cllr Brian Douglas and the chair Bernard Shaw by Jim Buttress, Head of Judges RHS Britain in Bloom.

Recent progress was recognised by judges with by the award of Berwick’s first gold.

For a number of years, Berwick Town Council has supported the Berwick in Bloom Group in their entries into the Northumbria area of the Britain in Bloom, the national competition organised by the RHS.

The Lion Allotments in Berwick.

This support has primarily taken the form of funding entry and other group expenses and, most significantly, the purchase and maintenance of the floral displays in the various planters around the town, which are also owned and maintained by the town council.

More recently, with increased staff resources being available, additional practical support has been provided that is allowing the displays to be developed and improved in line with historic comments from the judges.

The annual budget for floral displays and their maintenance is £10,500.

This progress was recognised by the award of Berwick’s first Gold in the Northumbria in Bloom competition, with the judges describing the floral displays as ‘welcoming, well-conceived, co-ordinated, and properly maintained’ and the general environmental quality being ‘of a consistently high standard’.

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Clerk Gareth Davies reported that, in the latter area, the role of Northumberland County Council (NCC) staff should not be overlooked, particularly their willingness to respond to specific issues in the run up to the judging days.

He said the capacity of NCC to respond in this way is greatly enhanced by the partnership agreement between NCC and Berwick Town Council, which adds an invaluable additional staff resource to the local team. The partnership agreement costs in the order of £74,000 per year.

While Berwick was not the overall category winner in the Town competition, other areas of the overall Berwick entry were successful, with Ord House Country Park winning the Best Commercial Premises category and Berwick Bowling Club winning the Best Sport Ground category.

Other successes included golds for Castle Vale Park, Spittal Village and Lions Allotments and a silver gilt for Berwick Public Transport Interchange.

“Work is now underway to plan for 2019,” said Mr Davies. “These plans will include a move to use perennial plants in some of the planters in response to RHS requirements to make planters more sustainable. This is achieved by reducing the quantity of plants used just for a few months and then replaced the following season.

“We are also building on the working relationship with our plant supplier to plan the displays and baskets with a view to introducing some new plants to those used in previous years.”