TOWN AIMS FOR NATIONAL TITLE
COMMUNITY groups in Uttoxeter have set their sights on national glory after clinching a top regional title for at least the 10th year in a row.
The town was last week named winner of the Gold award in the Heart of England in Bloom contest – an annual initiative which encourages residents to improve their environment.
Now, organisers of the Uttoxeter entry are aiming for the most prestigious prize of all after being selected as finalists for the UK-wide campaign.
The winners are due to be announced next month and town clerk Tina Jeffery, co-ordinator of Uttoxeter In Bloom, believes there’s every chance of more success.
She said: “A lot of people throughout the town put a vast amount of work into this competition, so to find out we won the regional Gold award again was fantastic.
“It’s a rich reward for a massive effort throughout the year involving so many members of the community.
“We now want to go one step further by winning the national title. That would really put the icing on the cake and we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”
Town Mayor Alison Trenery and husband David, chairman of the Uttoxeter In Bloom committee, were presented with Uttoxeter’s Gold award before 180 delegates from cities, towns and villages from across the region at a ceremony held at Warwick Castle last week.
Mrs Jeffery added: “The project is organised by volunteers, but it also involves a whole host of groups who have played a vital part in our success.
“There’s a group which looks after the railway station and another at the library, for example. The Fairtrade Group is also heavily involved along with the seven schools, the care centre in Holly Road and the allotment society in the town – and they’re just a few.
“It’s a lot of work for a lot of people, but it’s an initiative which enhances the town for everyone and it’s certainly nice to receive such formal recognition for our efforts.”
Expert judges Roger Tait and Donna Loasby, members of competition organisers the Royal Horticultural Society, visited Uttoxeter in July.
They said: “Uttoxeter lived up to expectations again and it’s evident that the community spirit is continuing to thrive with everyone pulling together to ensure the town is a great place to live, work and visit all year round.
“Highlights included the community farm and conservation area, Bradley House Club, the library garden and the railway station, but everyone involved deserves credit for a real team effort.
“The judges wish Uttoxeter the best of luck in the national competition and feel sure it will do the Heart of England proud.”
The judgement noted particular ‘areas of achievement’ including the hanging baskets around the town and on pubs/business premises, well-stocked and beautifully kept plots at Millfield Victory allotments and a memorial tree planting scheme at the cemetery.
The library garden was described as ‘simply stunning’, the range of plants in the railway station garden provided a ‘beautiful area for rest and contemplation’ while the Go Garden project, based at the leisure centre, had produced high-quality plants displayed around the town.
The winners of each category in the Britain In Bloom campaign will be announced on October 27.
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