Halstead crowned winner and community efforts recognised at the 2016 Anglia in Bloom awards

Halstead in bloom as they are crowned overall winners at Anglia in Bloom awards 2016

Halstead in bloom as they are crowned overall winners at Anglia in Bloom awards 2016 - Credit: Archant

Green-fingered residents from across the region are celebrating today after the winners of this year’s Anglia in Bloom competition were revealed.

Anglia in Bloom winners Halstead
. Photo of the Public Gardens which won a gold award in the parks c

Anglia in Bloom winners Halstead . Photo of the Public Gardens which won a gold award in the parks category

The north Essex town of Halstead – which scooped a gold award for best town in 2011, 2012 and 2014 and enjoyed similar victories at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom awards – was crowned overall winner for the second year running at a special ceremony last night.

Their success was shared by a number of other north Essex towns and villages, and Bury St Edmunds flew the flag for west Suffolk by winning the large town category and bringing home the gold award.

Julia Smith, who founded Halstead in Bloom with Michael Portway back in 2000, was honoured with a community champion award for her long service.

Mrs Smith, who is 69 and lives in Sible Hedingham, said: “It’s fantastic for Halstead to win this award, and it’s all down to our fantastic team who come out and help in all weathers.

Fordham in Bloom members Les Hearsey, Richard Gregor, Judges from Britain in Bloom Teresa Potter and

Fordham in Bloom members Les Hearsey, Richard Gregor, Judges from Britain in Bloom Teresa Potter and Roger Burnett, Fordham in Bloom members Stephen Foster and Julie Travis give the judges of Fordham in Essex. - Credit: Su Anderson


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“In June and July this year more than 1,000 volunteering hours had been carried out which is incredible, it’s a proud moment for the town.”

She said she was “absolutely gobsmacked” to be awarded a community champion award at last night’s ceremony.

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“I was absolutely gobsmacked to receive my award, really thrilled,” she said.

“I’m sure there are people much more deserving of it than me but it was lovely.”

Crescent Gardens in Frinton, which collected a silver gilt award in the small parks category of the

Crescent Gardens in Frinton, which collected a silver gilt award in the small parks category of the Anglia in Bloom awards - Credit: Archant

Halstead mayor Shirley Diver and her fellow town councillors said in a joint statement they were “delighted” that their town had once again “swept the board” at the Anglia in Bloom awards.

“We are absolutely delighted to win these awards and especially to be named the overall winner,” they said.

“We’d like to thank all at Halstead in Bloom for their enormous hard work throughout the year, and Julia is thoroughly deserving of her special award.

“We’d also like to thank the environment agency for coming in and cleaning the river, and being able to speak to the judges. That made quite a difference.”

Anglia Bloom judges visit Bury St Edmunds. Left to right, Jo Kreckle (Green King Sponsor), Eileen Wa

Anglia Bloom judges visit Bury St Edmunds. Left to right, Jo Kreckle (Green King Sponsor), Eileen Ward (judge), Brian Thornton (judge), Melanie Lesser (Bury In Bloom Coordinator). - Credit: Gregg Brown

Brian Thornton, of Lowestoft in Bloom, was also recognised with the prestigious award.

Fordham, near Colchester, won a gold award for the villages category at the awards ceremony, while Stoke by Nayland collected a silver gilt award.

In the small town category, Frinton-on-Sea – which first created its In Bloom service with the aim of giving the seaside town a ‘natural facelift’ – was the overall winner, while Halesworth won a gold award.

And Coggeshall, which is around ten miles south of Colchester, received a silver award in the same category, and was also winner of the most consistently improved town.

Bury in Bloom winners celebrate outside the awards ceremony in Gorleston

Bury in Bloom winners celebrate outside the awards ceremony in Gorleston - Credit: Archant

But Halstead was once again named the winner of the town category, which assesses urban areas with between 6,000 and 12,000 residents – and the west Suffolk town of Sudbury collected a silver award.

Bury St Edmunds won gold and were crowned overall winner of the large town category.

In the city category, Colchester scooped a gold award, and in the coastal section, the east Suffolk town of Lowestoft received a silver gilt award.

Colchester’s Highwoods Country Park was declared the overall winner of the large park category, while Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey Gardens and Nowton Park, alongside Colchester’s Castle Park, received gold awards.

“This shows what people can do when they get together,” said Colchester in Bloom chairwoman Pam Schomberg.

“Each and every volunteer makes a huge difference. We all have a great time and hope lots more people can join us for the 2017 campaign.”

Medium-sized parks recognised at the ceremony included Halstead Public Gardens, which became the overall winner of the category, while Halstead Town Park and Halesworth Town Park both received silver gilt awards.

And Lowestoft’s Nicholas Everitt Park, which is under five acres, was named the overall winner of the small park category, a title it now shares with St Peter’s Church Gardens in Wisbech.

Crescent Gardens in Frinton-on-Sea, which are situated next to the seafront, collected a silver gilt award in the same category.

Anglia in Bloom chairman Bob Ollier said: “I congratulate all the communities and neighbourhoods in the East of England, for the enthusiasm, commitment and effort made to improve, develop and sustain local environments across our region, it is a great credit to you all, well done.”

“All entrants should be congratulated on their achievement of consistent high marks across all the key criteria in all the sections of the competition.”

Notable winners in smaller categories:

Cemeteries (under 10 acres)

Halesworth Closed Cemetery - Silver award

Cemeteries (more than 10 acres)

Colchester Cemetery - Silver gilt award

Crematoriums

Weeley Crematorium - Silver gilt award

Best Hotel

Gunton Hall Hotel, Lowestoft - Winner and silver gilt award

Most consistently improved

Coggeshall

Biodiversity award

Railway Cottage Garden, Frinton-on-Sea - Winner

Millenium Green, Halesworth - Nominated

Best community project

St Helena Hospice, Colchester - Nominated

Best conservation project

River Walk, Halstead - Nominated

Eden Rose Project, Sudbury - Nominated

Best drought/sustainable garden

Rock Garden, Frinton-on-Sea - Winner

Environmental quality award

Stoke By Nayland - Nominated

Halstead - Nominated

Grow your own award

New Town Community Garden, Colchester - Nominated

Best individual/community floral display

Martin and Lesley Jones, Whitton Court, Lowestoft - Nominated

Best industrial/commercial area

The Triangle shopping area, Frinton-on-Sea - Winner

High Street area, Halesworth - Nominated

Best local authority floral display

The Three Bees - Colchester

Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds - Nominated

Best public open space

Fordham Village Green - Nominated

Best garden for special needs

The Big Garden, Highwoods, Colchester - Winner

Best sheltered housing or care home garden

Broadlands Care Home, Lowestoft - Winner

Best young people’s project (aged 12 years and under)

The Cub Scouts Bee Project, Colchester - Winner

Dell Road Primary School, Lowestoft - Nominated

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