Green-fingered volunteers across Leeds were today ready for the arrival of judges from Britain in Bloom.
This year the UK’s largest community gardening campaign celebrates its 50th anniversary and thousands of volunteers in cities, towns and villages across the country have been busy ‘Growing for Gold’ in celebration of this momentous year.
There are more than 3,900 Bloom groups throughout Britain whose work benefits millions of UK residents by keeping our neighbourhoods and streets green, clean and thriving.
Leeds has a thriving ‘in bloom’ network with over 50 groups in communities across the city that contribute to over 1,300 floral displays.
RHS judges Sue Wood and Kim Parish will meet community representatives and go on a tour of West Yorkshire projects, assessing In Bloom campaigns against three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.
Communities hope to receive a Bronze, Silver, Silver-Gilt or Gold award, depending on their level of achievement.
In last year’s national awards, the communities of Garforth and Barwick in Elmet flew the flag for Leeds at the 2013 Britain in Bloom awards.
Barwick in Elmet secured a gold award but was pipped to the post in the ‘Large Village’ group, while Garforth, making their first appearance ever at Britain in Bloom, earned a Silver Gilt in the ‘Town’ category.
The awards recognise a range of categories, and honour communities, villages, towns and cities across the UK that have transformed green spaces in their area.
As part of the awards, which are overseen and judged by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), residents who have gone the extra mile as part of their commitment to the Britain in Bloom cause were also recognised.
Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of regional development, said: “The groups that have made it to the final stages represent the very best in community gardening and it is their passion and community spirit that have got them this far. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck and urge more people to get involved in the campaign so that we can continue to grow on the success of the last 50 years.”
Category winners will be announced in October. Judges include Jim Buttress of the BBC’s Great Allotment Challenge.