A TOWN council is “delighted” after their East Staffordshire town has been awarded Gold in a national initiative. Uttoxeter Town Council has recently found out that Uttoxeter has been awarded Gold within the 'Town' category of the Heart of England in Bloom campaign 2019, and furthermore has been awarded the overall Town Category Winner. In addition, Uttoxeter has been selected to represent the Heart of England in Bloom within the Britain in Bloom National Finals in 2020.
Uttoxeter town councillor Zdzislaw Krupski has also been awarded a Special Community Achievement Award within the same initiative.
The Heart of England in Bloom Regional Judges visited Uttoxeter in July and judges Roger Tait and Donna Loasby made the following comments on the Town’s Regional entry: “As we have come to expect of Uttoxeter, this year’s tour was filled with exciting and innovative people and projects, and led with the customary passion and pride of Tina and Caroline, who truly are the beating heart of the town’s Bloom campaign, ably assisted by an ever expanding flock of dedicated and enthusiastic Bloomers.
“Uttoxeter never lacks the courage to try new things and always delivers on effort, facing challenges head on and staying positive in the face of adversity.
“This was epitomised by the ‘Cleaner Beats’ song and rap performed by the children at the conclusion of the tour.
“The Sheep Fair provided the opportunity for some great fun on the tour, where communities had seized the chance to show their support for the event, and without trying to pull the wool over the judge’s eyes, had put their own spin on this theme in their particular projects.
“The results certainly were not mutton dressed as lamb and Uttoxeter has no reason to feel sheepish with their campaign this year.
“The judges look forward to coming baah-ck next year.”
In addition to the Town’s Awards, Heart of England in Bloom also recently announced its ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Winners where Uttoxeter received the following awards:
The Uttoxeter Go Garden Project has been awarded Level 5 – Outstanding.
Uttoxeter Station Adopters has been awarded Level 5 – Outstanding together with ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood Certificate of Outstanding Achievement’ Discretionary Award.
Uttoxeter Library Courtyard Garden was awarded Level 5 – Outstanding.
Uttoxeter Cemetery was awarded Gold within the Parks Category.
Bramshall Road Park was awarded Silver Gilt within the Parks Category.
The Globe Community Garden was awarded Level 3 – Advancing.
Bradley House Club was awarded Level 4 – Thriving.
The Heath Community Garden was awarded Level 1 – Establishing.
These awards are in addition to East Staffordshire Borough Council’s entry for Pennycroft Park.
Uttoxeter Town Mayor councillor Sue McGarry said “These results are fantastic and reflect the excellent partnerships which have been developed between the town council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, local organisations and our wonderful volunteers.
“These results are an accolade to the whole town.”
Chair of Uttoxeter in Bloom, councillor Carolyn Green said: “Uttoxeter has some truly exceptional and creative gardening volunteers, whom without their support we could not have achieved the results we did.
“To obtain a place in the Britain in Bloom national campaign for the second time in three years is phenomenal.
“The Uttoxeter In Bloom Committee are looking forward to working with the community and our Partners over the next few months on our entries for summer 2020.”
Tina Jeffery, Town Clerk and Bloom Co-ordinator, added: “I am truly delighted with the results that Uttoxeter has achieved, these wonderful awards reflect the effort and commitment of the Uttoxeter in Bloom Working Group, Councillors and many, many community volunteers.
“I would personally like to express my sincere thanks to all those who have participated and provided sponsorship and support throughout the past year; you have all done Uttoxeter proud.
“We are currently planning the tour for the Britain in Bloom Nationals for next year; so once again, it will be another busy year for the town.”
The Friends of Uttoxeter in Bloom annually provide floral trees, hanging baskets, floral beds and planters throughout the town to make a brighter and more colourful place for residents and visitors to live, work and enjoy.
The Bloom funding enables the Bloom Committee to provide grants to all seven of the town’s Schools, St. Mary’s Parish Church, the Royal British Legion and Uttoxeter Library, together with a number of community projects which change annually.
Anyone wishing to become involved with ‘Uttoxeter in Bloom’ or require further information, can contact Tina Jeffery, Town Clerk and Uttoxeter in Bloom Co-ordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01889 564085.
Areas of Achievement for Uttoxeter in Bloom, according to the Heart of England in Bloom Regional Judges:
• The baskets and floral trees in and around the town centre were very well developed, colourful and had high impact.
• The growing of plants at the Go Garden centre for use throughout the town is hugely commendable.
• The Uttoxeter Cares/SOB’s garden at The Hermitage has really developed and is beautifully maintained.
• The Library Garden continues to be spectacular – a riot of colour.
• The roses around the paddock at the Racecourse are gorgeous and set off by the beautifully manicured lawn.
• The planting in the caravan park is great fun, and brightens up the site wonderfully.
• The Globe Eco Centre is a fantastic resource for the town and a great new addition to the tour. A particular mention to the hydroponic system, the workshop for sorting and shredding the plastics, and the wonderful range of products in the shop made from the recycled materials – excellent.
• A special mention also for the new Household Waste Recycling centre and the increased recycling rate of 43.6 per cent – this, along with Uttoxeter’s status as a Fair Trade town, really cements its green credentials.
• The Go Garden Centre with its wildflower meadow, wildlife areas and home-grown flowers and veg continues to be a tremendous asset.
• The wildflower verges and strips throughout the route create mini habitats and contribute to the aims of the Biodiversity Strategy – the Bee Friendly signs help to promote this.
• The town-wide “buy-in” to environmental issues from community groups, volunteers and partner organisations is very commendable.
• The re-use of chipped tree arisings for mulch and bio-fuel is a positive, as is the water pump at the station, fed by the Picknall Brook.
• The Park Avenue allotments were well stocked and contained an innovative Kids Patch.
• The Maltings is clean, tidy and cared-for, despite being closed.
• The engagement with and genuine involvement of a range of age and interest groups across the entire town is evident, with some particularly dedicated volunteers such as Zdzislaw Krupski deserving of a special mention.
• New groups and projects being included in the campaign as well as long-standing supporters such as the Strawberry Garden Centre.
• Events and activities for a range of tastes are evident all year round – the imminent sheep fair had obviously captured the attention of the town with some great shop window dressings and an abundance of knitted sheep.
• Strong sponsorship and fund raising activity, from the Town and Borough Councils, grant awards and “in-kind” contributions.
• Almost 2,000 hours of volunteer time – up by 250 hours from last year.
• Increased use of social media to promote the campaign.
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