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Cumbria success in RHS Britain in Bloom competition

Penrith and Stanwix scoop gold and silver gilt medals

Penrith’s community gardeners with the Britain in Bloom banner after they were selected for the finals

Cumbria’s community gardeners are celebrating today after walking away with a haul of medals in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) annual Britain in Bloom competition, announced at a ceremony last night.

Two finalists represented the region following success in the Cumbria in Bloom competition last year. A total of 68 groups from across the UK competed in 12 categories with each also vying for a gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medal.

Community Gardener Louise Armstrong and Penrith Town Council Deputy Mayor Scott Jackson at the Britain in Bloom Finals, receiving Penrith’s Gold Award from Floella Benjamin, OBE DL and RHS Ambassador for Communities and Young People.

Penrith scooped a much-coveted gold medal in the Large Town category, impressing the judges with its standout railway station planting and community fruit and vegetable growing. Healthy produce that passers-by can help themselves to is grown in public spaces throughout the town and helps supplement a Salvation Army food bank scheme. Such initiatives also earned Penrith a discretionary award for supporting and growing communities.

Stanwix, an area of Carlisle, picked up a silver gilt medal. Horticultural highlights included the gardens at Barn Close Residential Home and Eden Bridge Gardens while a new wildlife habitat has been created in the church yard.

The full results for the RHS Britain in Bloom finalists representing Cumbria are:

Entry Category Award
Penrith Large Town Gold

Discretionary Award: Growing Communities

Stanwix Urban Community Silver Gilt

Finalists are judged not only on their floral displays but environmental and community efforts. Each was visited by a pair of RHS judges over a fortnight from the end of July.

Darren Share, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s UK finalists. It’s incredibly humbling to hear about the huge efforts they’ve invested in making our villages, towns and cities greener places to live, work and visit.

“This makes a tremendous difference locally but has a wider impact too. Gardeners are increasingly having to respond to the changing climate, declining pollinator numbers and plastic waste and more communities are galvanizing people around these issues to bring about positive change.”

The Cumbrian finalists collected their awards from Baroness Floella Benjamin, RHS Vice President, at the ceremony held in the RHS Lindley Hall, London.

The full results for RHS Britain in Bloom 2019 are here: www.rhs.org.uk/bloomawardsresults

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