Success for Bury St Edmunds as town collects overall prize in Anglia in Bloom contest
PUBLISHED: 13:59 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:56 15 September 2017
Horticultural enthusiasts in Bury St Edmunds are celebrating after the town scooped a host of awards at the prestigious Anglia in Bloom contest – including best overall entry.
The west Suffolk town collected the top prize alongside the Anglia in Bloom trophy for its outstanding floral displays at the 21st year of the awards, which were held at Pier Gardens in Gorleston, Norfolk, yesterday.
Bury also took home first prize in the large town category, for populations between 12,001 and 35,000, as well as winning an award for environmental quality.
The town’s parks were also celebrated with Abbey Gardens and Nowton Park achieving a gold award in the large parks (more than 10 acres) section, being narrowly pipped to the top prize by Eaton Park in Norwich.
Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom coordinator, said: “We are absolutely delighted. The team has worked really hard this year.
“It has been a huge effort from the 500 volunteers at Bury in Bloom and we really are so pleased to take the awards. It’s great for everyone in and around the town.”
Robin Burnett, Bury in Bloom chairman, said: “It really is a feather in the whole town’s cap and has increased pride in the town.”
Bob Ollier, chairman of Anglia in Bloom, said: “This year standards have continued on from last year with excellent awards achieved, the outstanding community work, many resourceful projects and superb floriferous displays have all added to fantastic community entries with 50 gold, 27 silver gilt, nine silver, and one bronze awarded.
“The continued key to success has been community involvement where everyone gets involved and works together to deliver great community projects.
“Bury St Edmunds have achieved a gold standard, best large town and best overall entry and winner of the Anglia in Bloom trophy. Congratulations to the Bury in Bloom team.”
George Dawson, chair of judges, said: “I would also add my best wishes to and congratulations to not only the award winners but to everyone who took part in this year’s campaign.
“No matter what the British climate throws at us the entrants in Anglia in Bloom take it all in their stride and make the areas where they live better places.
“Well done to all, may it long continue.”
Towns and parks in Essex also fared well in this year’s In Bloom challenge with Halstead again scooping one of the top prizes.
It secured first prize and gold status in the town (6.001-12,000) category.
Halstead public gardens also won another first for the town and achieved gold status in the ‘medium’ sized parks (five to 10 acres) category.
The accolade for ‘grow your own’ went to Colin Bailey’s allotment - also in Halstead.
Following the awards ceremony yesterday, the town’s In Bloom secretary Julia Smith said the committee was “absolutely thrilled to bits” with the accolades.
“So many people are involved with Halstead In Bloom and when I go home tonight, people will say how did ‘we’ do, because it’s a community effort,” she said.
“Yes we also have fantastic floral displays but I think it’s the community spirit that makes the difference.”
Colin Bailey who won the Grow Your Own award for his Halstead allotment is also a great example of that community spirit, Mrs Smith added.
“The patch was full of worn shrubs and he asked permission to turn it into a garden. He grows so many veg now that he shares with his community at the sheltered accommodation where he lives.”
Elsewhere in the county, Frinton-on-Sea took the small town [2,501 - 6,000] category, while Coggeshall was given the award for most consistently improved over the past three years.
Colchester’s green-fingered residents also took several of the top spots. The town achieved third place in the ‘city’ [35,001 - 200,000 residents] category.
High Woods Country Park and Castle Park in the town collected silver gilt and silver awards respectively in the ‘large’ parks [more than 10 acres] category.