Halstead scoops top prize as Suffolk and Essex celebrate successful haul at Anglia in Bloom awards

Halstead has won the 2015 Anglia in Bloom competition

Halstead has won the 2015 Anglia in Bloom competition - Credit: citizenside.com

Halstead, Halesworth and Bury St Edmunds have all picked up awards at the prestigious Anglia in Bloom awards.

The annual competition pits the floral skills of communities in Suffolk and Essex against neighbours in Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

Yesterday, at a ceremony at Wodson Park in Hertfordshire, 14 awards were dished out to projects in our area – including the best overall entry.

Halstead was named Anglia in Bloom champion, beating off all competition and bagging two other awards.

Halstead in Bloom secretary Julia Smith said: “We have dedicated our success today to our late president Michael Portway.

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“He started the current Halstead in Bloom in 2000. He would have been so proud.”

While Halstead has won before Mrs Smith said this year’s win was a surprise.

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“We certainly didn’t expect to win it this year but it’s brilliant. It’s really good for the town.”

Halstead also won the best town award and its hospital won the End of World War Two Commemoration category for its Loom Garden.

Also celebrating was Halesworth, winner of best small town.

Robert Le Rougetel from Halesworth in Bloom said: “To win such an award so soon after coming in to existence three years ago is a remarkable achievement and much of the credit is due to the team’s leader Tamsyn Imison.

“The splendid new town signs and planters at the major entrances to the town have been designed and executed on the initiative of Halesworth in Bloom.”

Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft triumphed in the best small park category; Weeley’s crematorium was named the region’s best; and five locations in Colchester picked up awards – best new entry (High Woods Country Park), best conservation project (High Woods), best drought/sustainable garden (Castle Park Drought Scheme), best individual/community floral display (Leroy and Charles Smith) and best public open space (Castle Park).

Bury St Edmunds also tasted victory in the best large park (Nowton Park), best local authority floral display (Abbey Gardens) and best community project (Certificate of Merit scheme) categories.

Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, said the team was “really pleased”.

“I think what’s been so pleasing is we have got lots of different awards showing how many people are involved really, all the different community groups.

“The Abbey Gardens Friends will be delighted, and there’s Nowton Park with the rangers and their volunteers. With the certificates of merit we have over 70 volunteers going round handing them out.”


Anglia in Bloom results 2015

Best overall entry and winner of the Anglia in Bloom trophy: Halstead

Villages (301-2,500 residents): Filby

Best small town (2,501-6,000 residents): Halesworth

Best town: (6,001-12,000 residents): Halstead

Best large town (12,001-35,000 residents): Wisbech

Best city (35,001-200,000 residents): Norwich

Best urban community: Mancroft ward, Norwich

Best coastal community (up to 35,000 residents): Hunstanton

Best park (large, over 10 acres): Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds

Best park (medium, five to 10 acres): St Peter’s Church Gardens, Wisbech

Best park (small, under 5 acres): Kensington Gardens, Lowestoft

Best cemetery: The General Cemetery, Wisbech

Best churchyard: Holy Trinity Churchyard, Rayleigh

Best crematorium: Weeley Crematorium

Best new entry: High Woods Country Park, Colchester

Most consistently improved: Maldon

Biodiversity award: Earlham Cemetery, Norwich

Best community project: The Certificate of Merit scheme, Bury St Edmunds

Best conservation project: High Woods, Colchester

Best drought/sustainable garden: Castle Park Drought Garden, Colchester

Environmental quality award: Heacham

Grow your own award: Edith Cavell Academy and Nursery, Norwich

Best individual/community floral display: Leroy and Charles Fox, Charles Smith House, Colchester

Best industrial/commercial area: Merrivale Model Village, Great Yarmouth

Best local authority floral display: Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, and Esplande Gardens, Hunstanton

Best public open space: Castle Park, Colchester

Best garden for special needs: Stepping Stones, Norwich

Best young people’s project (12-18 years of age): Royal British Legion Youth Members, Chatteris

Best young people’s project (Aged 12 years and under): South Wootton Junior School, Kings Lynn

The Mike Ames Award: Sue Hacon, Great Yarmouth

End of World War Two Commemoration Award: Loom Garden, Halstead Hospital

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