- Britain in Bloom
RHS Britain in Bloom, supported by Anglian Home Improvements, is the largest horticultural campaign in the United Kingdom. It was first held in 1963, initiated by the British Tourist Board based on the example set by Fleurissement de France. It has been organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) since 2002. In January 2011 Anglian Home Improvements announced their three year sponsorship of the campaign.
The competition is entered by the communities of towns, villages and cities. Different categories exist for various sizes of settlements. Groups are assessed for their achievements in three core pillars: Horticultural Excellence; Environmental Responsibility; and Community Participation.
Over 1,000 communities around the UK enter each year, participating in their local region's "in Bloom" campaign. From these regional competitions, roughly 70 communities are selected to enter the national Finals of RHS Britain in Bloom.
It is a popular campaign, estimated to involve more than 200,000 volunteers in cleaning up and greening up their local area.
Since 2002, the awards have been based on the Royal Horticultural Society's medal standards of Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver and Bronze; the winner is the settlement judged to have most successfully met the rigorous judging criteria. Judging at the regional stage takes place around June/ July; judging for the national stage takes place in August. The results for the UK Finals are announced in September/ October. The competition covers the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Floral displays play an important part in the contest, but the "Bloom" title is now, perhaps, misleading: in recent years the competition has increasingly assessed how all sectors of the local community are managing their local environment.
In 2006, the RHS introduced the Neighbourhood Awards (now the It's Your Neighbourhood campaign), a grassroots sister campaign to Bloom, supporting smaller, volunteer-led community groups focused on improving their immediate environment.
The history of the 'Bloom', as it is colloquially referred to, began in 1963 when Roy Hay MBE, a horticultural journalist, went on holiday to France during the Fleurissement de France and was enthralled by seeing the country "filled to overflowing with flowers, shrubs and trees all in full bloom". His enquiries revealed that President de Gaulle had given orders to brighten up the country and the French Tourist Authority had set up the Fleurissement de France in 1959 (now called Concours des villes et villages fleuris). Hay was so impressed that he approached the British Tourist Authority ("BTA"), and he and Len Lickorish, then Director General of the BTA, set up a committee to run a British version, "Britain in Bloom". It was piloted by the British Tourist Authority in 1963 (Lewisham being part of that pilot), and went national in 1964.
Many organisations were invited to help, including: The Automobile Association; London Tourist Board; National Farmers' Union; London Parks; Institute of Parks and Recreation Administration; National Association of Rural Communities; Royal Horticultural Society; Royal Automobile Club; The Tourist Boards of England, Scotland and Wales; The National Federation of Women's Institutes; Civic Trust; Keep Britain Tidy Group; the Flowers and Plants Council; The Horticultural Trades Association; The British Hotels and Restaurants Association; The Society of Town Clerks; Townswomen's Guild and British Airways. Despite this impressive list, Roy Hay later reflected that the initial reaction of the horticultural trade and local authorities was lukewarm.
Nevertheless, regional committees were quickly formed, and in 1964 Bath became the first national winner. From 1964 to 1969 inclusive there was an overall national winner. From 1970, however, the competition was divided up into a range of categories, because of the difficulty of comparing settlements of different sizes fairly.
The British Tourist Authority managed the competition until 1983 when the Government Department sponsoring the BTA felt that it should relinquish the responsibility. The Tidy Britain Group (the group responsible for the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, now known as EnCams) took over; it already had a long association with the competition. To mark the changeover, 1983 was celebrated as "Beautiful Britain in Bloom Year". Sir Lawrie Barratt of Barratt Developments expressed his support to the Tidy Britain Group for the competition and provided sponsorship until 1989.
More categories and awards were added, in part reflecting a greater range of settlements, but also to recognise other elements of horticulture, including landscaping, and also to recognise the strenuous efforts to beautify the urban areas of the larger cities. McDonalds began sponsoring the competition from 1990, which led to focus on littering behaviour and the implementation of a Children's Painting Competition Calendar. In 2001, the event was organised jointly by EnCams and the Royal Horticultural Society, and from November 2001 the RHS took full control as the organising body of Britain in Bloom.
Year Organising Body Main Sponsor 1964 to 1982 British Tourist Authority No main sponsor 1983 to 1989 Tidy Britain Group Barratt Developments 1990 to TBC Tidy Britain Group McDonalds 2001 Tidy Britain Group & Royal Horticultural Society TBC 2002 to 2003 Royal Horticultural Society B&Q (from 2003) 2004 to 2006 Royal Horticultural Society B&Q 2007 to 2009 Royal Horticultural Society Shredded Wheat 2011 to present Royal Horticultural Society Anglian Home Improvements
The competition currently has twelve entry categories, most of which are determined by population size. Within each category, similarly sized communities compete across a spectrum of horticultural endeavour, community participation and environmental responsibility, which includes dealing with issues of litter, graffiti and vandalism.
- Category A
- Small Village
- Large Village
- Category B
- Small Town
- Large Town
- Category C
- Small City
- Large City
- Category D
- Urban Community
- Category E
- Small Coastal
- Large Coastal
Judging takes place over two years in two stages:
- Regional competition: Entries are first submitted by voluntary local 'Bloom' Committees, depending upon the area, to Local Authorities, Town or Parish Councils. These communities take part in their regional competition, for example South West in Bloom. The local volunteers are colloquially known as "bloomers". Judging takes place in June/July, and winners are announced during local presentations between August and November.
- UK-wide: After the judging of the regional stage, Committees representing their nation/region select entrants for the second UK-wide stage. To ensure that effort is sustained over time, this second stage of judging takes place in August the year after they qualify. Winners of the UK judging are announced at a prestigious ceremony in September/October.
Details to 1990 from Graham Ashworth CBE, Britain in Bloom, The Tidy Britain Group (Wigan:1991)
KEY Winner Known Category Dormant Category Not Created/No longer exists Winner unknown/Not known if category exists Year Champion of Champions Large City City Small City / Large Town Town Small Town Small Country Town Large Village Village Small Village Urban Regeneration Urban Community Coastal Resort Small City: (35K–100K) Large Town: (12K–35K) Coastal Resort A (small) Coastal Resort B (large) 2011 Cricklade Bristol Stockton-on-Tees Derry Glenrothes Rustington St Martin, Guernsey Broughshane Luddenden Loughgall Uddingston Whitby Cleethorpes 2010 Falkland Sunderland Tameside Crawley Perth City of London Garstang Comrie Norton in Hales Stanghow and Wolfscastle Beighton, Sheffield North Berwick Scarborough, North Yorkshire 2009 Falkland London Borough of Croydon Stockton-on-Tees Harrogate Wisbech Thornbury Pitlochry Broughshane, (Northern Ireland) Chipping, Lancashire Tarrington Village Birmingham City Centre St Brelade, Jersey Cleethorpes 2008 Nottingham Sheffield Solihull Taunton Perth Forres Cricklade Falkland, (Scotland) Earsdon Ravenfield Chapelfield, Norwich Clifton Village, Bristol Herm, Guernsey Exmouth 2007 Broughshane, (Northern Ireland) Nottingham, (East Midlands) Stockton-on-Tees, (County Durham) Horsham, (South East England) Bury St Edmunds, (Anglia) Oakham, (East Midlands) Grouville, (Jersey) Comrie, (Scotland) Darley, (Yorkshire) Nominations but No Winners St Philip's & St Paul's Floral Trail, (Heart of England) Uddingston, (Scotland) Cleethorpes, (East Midlands) 2006 Alness, (Scotland) No Nominations Aberdeen, (Scotland) Shrewsbury, (Heart of England) Perth, (Scotland) Brightlingsea, (Anglia) St Martin's Parish, (Guernsey) Broughshane, (Northern Ireland) Norton in Hales, (Heart of England) Ravenfield Seedley and Langworthy, (North West England) Starbeck, (Yorkshire) Scarborough, (Yorkshire) 2005 Cardiff Derry Newcastle-under-Lyme Durham Hexham Garstang Usk Heysham Bray St Philip's & St Paul's Floral Trail, Birmingham Spondon in Derby Sidmouth 2004 Stockport Derby Bath Perth Ilkley Alness Broughshane Appleton Wiske Sorn Coventry City Centre Dyce St Ives and Carbis Bay Bridlington 2003 Nottingham Cheltenham Harrogate Barnstaple Ledbury Pitlochry Darley Dale Drumnadrochit Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed The Mumbles Filey Eastbourne 2002 Bournemouth Oxford Perth Bridgnorth Alness Garstang Broughshane Filby Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Blackley Herm Southport 2001 Nottingham Bath/Durham St. Helier (Jersey) Dungannon Sidmouth Pitlochry Comrie Thorpe Salvin Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Port Sunlight Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 2000 Sunderland Unknown. To be confirmed Perth Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Pateley Bridge & Bewerley Bampton Unknown. To be confirmed Scarva Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1999 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Barnstaple Forres Pitlochry Broughshane Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1998 Unknown. To be confirmed Woking Perth Unknown. To be confirmed Alness Waringstown Bampton Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1997 Nottingham Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Barnstaple Moira Unknown. To be confirmed Broughshane Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1996 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1995 Unknown. To be confirmed Bath Perth Barnstaple Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1994 Unknown. To be confirmed Bath Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1993 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Perth Unknown. To be confirmed Moira Unknown. To be confirmed Broughshane &
Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1992 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Harrogate Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Saintfield Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1991 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Guildford Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Bampton Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed 1990 Westminster Bath Whickham Ilkley Moira Saintfield Catcott Walbottle 1989 Oxford Telford Falkirk Forres Bampton St. Florence 1988 Cardiff Cheltenham Bury Kelso Market Bosworth Llandinam 1987 Aberdeen Douglas, Isle of Man Stratford upon Avon Lympstone Lund 1986 Shrewsbury Harrogate Forres Usk Sampford Courtenay 1985 Cheltenham Crewe &
Moira Lympstone Lund 1984 Bath Whickham Sidmouth Pateley Bridge with Bewerley Sampford Courtenay 1983 Swansea Harrogate Kelso Lympstone 1982 Middlesbrough Eastbourne Forres Lund 1981 Bath Harrogate Sidmouth Pateley Bridge with Bewerley &
St. John's Town of Dalry
1980 Exeter Douglas, Isle of Man Ryton Killingworth 1979 Aberdeen Harrogate Falmouth &
Holywell 1978 Bath Douglas, Isle of Man Sidmouth Aberdovey &
1977 Aberdeen Harrogate Wolviston 1976 Bath Harrogate Bampton 1975 Bath Sidmouth Clovelly 1974 Aberdeen &
City of London
Shrewsbury Clovelly 1973 Aberdeen Bridlington &
Ryton 1972 Bath and
Ayr Chagford 1971 Aberdeen Falmouth, Cornwall Abington 1970 Aberdeen Falmouth, Cornwall Abington 1969 Aberdeen
Overall National Winners
Overall National Winners
1967 City of London
Overall National Winners
1966 Exeter &
Joint Overall National Winners
Overall National Winners
Overall National Winners
- The Britain in Bloom Floral Award / previously The Asmer Trophy: Presented to the finalist that demonstrates the best floral displays throughout the entry.
- The Sustainable Landscaping Award (from 2010) / previously The Permanent Landscaping Award / Beautiful Britain Award(from 1983)/Landscape Development Trophy(to 1983): Presented to the finalist that demonstrates innovative and high quality sustainable landscaping within their entry.
- The Community Award (from 2002) : Presented to the finalist deemed to have best demonstrated that community involvement in their local “in Bloom” campaign is representative of all sectors of the community.
- The Bob Hare Award(from 1980–1990) : Presented for outstanding contribution to their community's Britain in Bloom effort in any sector
- Commercial Award / Gordon Ford Trophy: Presented to the finalist that demonstrates the best environmental and/or horticultural contribution from business / retail / corporate interests. Originally presented by Gordon Ford.
- Environmental Quality Award / previously Tidy Britain Group Trophy / Keep Britain Tidy Trophy / The Keep Britain Tidy Award: Presented to the finalist that best demonstrates duty and commitment to any one or more of the following: cleanliness, effective use of resources and maintenance of hard landscaping and street furniture.
- Tourism Award: Presented to the finalist that demonstrates the most effective use of their local “in Bloom” initiatives as a means of encouraging and supporting tourism in their area.
- Best Public Park Award: Given in Memory of David Welch. Presented to the park (including publicly run pay-on-entry parks and gardens) designed for horticultural excellence, giving delight to the visitor through appropriate planting, high standards of maintenance, including infrastructure, conserving wildlife, cleanliness and features of interest.
- Conservation and Wildlife Award / previously The Going for Green Trophy: Presented to the finalist that best demonstrates commitment to sustainable development, including management of the flora and fauna in their local environment.
- Individual Citations: individuals are sometimes cited for their individual contributions to the year's Britain in Bloom
- Outstanding Contribution / previously The Moran Memorial Award: Presented to one individual judges consider to have made outstanding efforts towards the success and promotion of Britain in Bloom.
- Best Inner City / Barratt Inner City Trophy: for the best effort in inner city areas
- Young People's Award (from 2008) : Presented to the finalist deemed to involve young people from across the community in the best way.
Year The Britain in Bloom Floral Award / The Asmer Trophy The Sustainable Landscaping Award / Beautiful Britain Award / Landscape Development Trophy The Community Award / 1980 - 1990: The Bob Hare Award Commercial Award / Gordon Ford Trophy Environmental Quality Award/ Tidy Britain Group Trophy / The Keep Britain Tidy Trophy Tourism Award Best Public Park Award Conservation and Wildlife Award/ The Going for Green Trophy Outstanding Contribution/ The Moran Memorial Award Best Inner City / Barratt Inner City Trophy Young People's Award 2010 Coleraine City of London Crawley Beighton, Sheffield Tameside Harrogate Bristol Zoo Solihull Ken Powles & Susan Smith Douglas, Isle of Man 2009 Rustington Bangor - Bangor Walled Garden Earsdon St. Brelade’s Bay Hotel St Andrew’s, Scotland Chipping, Lancashire Harrogate - Valley Gardens Farthing Downs and New Hill, London Borough of Croydon Vic Verrier Falkland 2008 Perth Sheffield Cricklade Ocean Road, South Shields Sheffield Douglas, Isle of Man Ravelin Park South Sea North Meadow, Cricklade Terry Bane Applegrove School, Forres 2007 Grouville Bury St. Edmunds & Abbots Green School Nottingham White Rose shopping centre, Beeston Duffus & North Berwick Cleethorpes Mount Edgcumbe Park Plymouth Cardiff Bay Christel MacIntosh, Alness 2006 Shrewsbury St. Helier - Waterfront Falkland Taylors of Harrogate, Starbeck Norton in Hales Scarborough Greyfriars Green Coventry Durlston Country Park, Swanage Clifford Prout, Old Colwyn 2005 Nottingham North Berwick The Friends of Norwich in Bloom Fareham Memorial Gardens Manchester City Centre Hexham University Park Nottingham Rottingdean Jeanette Warke, Londonderry 2004 Perth Sheffield - Peace Garden Seedley and Langworthy(Salford) Bracknell Flowers, Bracknell Market Bosworth Falkland Jephson Gardens Royal Leamington Spa Tilgate Centre, Crawley Doug Stacey 2003 Falkland Guildford Coleraine Normanton Aberdeen Barnstaple Botanic Gardens Bath Bury St. Edmunds Malcolm Wood, Nottingham 2002 Stafford Oxford - Arlington Business Park Saltburn by the Sea Doxford International Business Park, Sunderland Newcastle under Lyme - Meadows Residents Association Drumnadrochit & Brighton and Hove Johnston Park Aberdeen London Borough of Bromley Carolyn Wilson, Alness 2001 Bath St. Helier - Harbour Approach KeyMed, Southend on Sea Newcastle upon Tyne Lynton & Lynmouth The Crichton Dumfries Tatsfield Pupils and teachers at Applegrove Primary School, Forres Leeds 2000 Portsmouth 1999 Nottingham, Hyson Green 1996 Nottingham 1992 Bath 1990 Southport Swansea Guildford J Sainsbury plc Nuneaton and Bedworth Keswick George Tomlinson
Plymouth 1989 Morpeth Telford Saintfield in Bloom Committee Bournemouth Moira Muriel Preece
Organiser of West Country in Bloom
Leeds 1988 Bury St Edmunds Plymouth Moffat Gorey, Jersey Exeter Lewis McAvoy
Chief Technical Officer Lisburn Borough Council
Oxford 1987 Bath Crewe The Japanese Garden, Aberdeen Stratford upon Avon Bury St Edmunds Jim Woods
1986 Shrewsbury Belfast Walter Dinning, Parks Department, Gateshead Nantwich Sorn Leonard Likorish
former Director General of the British Tourist Authority
1985 Douglas Crewe Tom Dobbins, Babbacombe Model Village, Devon Torquay Market Bosworth Dr W Dally
1984 Cheltenham Forres St David's Centre, Cardiff Nantwich East Sleekburn George Dick
Village orderly of Ballinamallard
1983 Ryton Aberdeen Tevrnspite, Dyfed Sidmouth Cheltenham David Welch
Director of Leisure and Recreation, Aberdeen
1982 Swansea Kirkcaldy Harold Peirce, Arthur Allen, Brian Pattenden, Nigel Rogers - Eastbourne Parks Dept Stratford upon Avon Stratford upon Avon (posthumous)
1981 Stockport Strathclyde Bath Largs Mr H Parker
Assistant Director of Environment (Parks) Swansea City Council
1980 Paisley Belfast Sidmouth Forres 1979 Belfast York Douglas Mr B Wolley
Chairman Northumberland in Bloom
1978 Swansea Holywell Dr D W Huebner
Chairman Yorkshire and Humberside in Bloom
1977 Bath Exeter Mr P Conn
Ex Parks Director, City of Liverpool
1976 Bath Wolviston Mr C B Preece
West Country in Bloom
1975 City of London London Borough of Camden 1974 Bath Clovelly 1973 Bath Bridlington 1972 Bath 1971 Bath
There are 18 Regions/ Nations "in Bloom", each of which coordinate regional campaigns in their area. The regions of the UK and Crown dependencies used in the competition are (with reference to ceremonial counties and government office regions)
RHS It's Your Neighbourhood
RHS It's Your Neighbourhood is part of the wider RHS Britain in Bloom initiative, supporting smaller, volunteer-led groups in improving their immediate environment. This could be their local community park or garden, the estate where they live, or the residential alley they share.
The campaign was launched by the RHS in 2006. There are currently more than 1,100 registered It's Your Neighbourhood groups (2011).
The initiative works around the same three pillars of assessment as RHS Britain in Bloom: Community Participation, Horticultural Achievement and Environmental Responsibility; however, it is not a competitive campaign. Participating groups receive an annual visit from an It's Your Neighbourhood assessor, who can provide valuable feedback, and each group receives a certificate of achievement from the RHS.
The It's Your Neighbourhood campaign is free to enter and open to groups of all sizes, as long as they are focused on improving their local environment and are:
- A volunteer-led group
- Hands on
- Involved in community gardening
- Owned by the community
- Representative of the community / getting input from the community
- Benefiting the community.
For example, they could be:
- A residents’ group / association
- A ‘Friends of’ group
- A youth group
- A community allotment / garden.
Source of civic pride
Winning a category within Britain in Bloom at a national or even regional level has proved to be a source of considerable civic pride for the towns, cities and villages involved. Many of the authorities of the winning locations do advertise their achievements on signs within, or more predominantly on the outskirts of their settlement. One journalist stated that "Since Britain In Bloom began in 1963 … nothing has pleased town councillors more than to hammer up a sign at the outskirts of their kingdom trumpeting superiority to incoming visitors… Few events provide a sterner test of civic pride." Examples include Garstang where the sign that leads to the high street at the heart of the town says, above the name "Garstang", Britain In Bloom Small Town – Gold Award Winners 2002, 2005, and "Invitation Finalists to Champion of Champions 2006", or Guildford, which advertises its past triumph in the Town category on its welcome signs.
- Graham Ashworth CBE, Britain in Bloom, The Tidy Britain Group (Wigan:1991)
- RHS Growing Communities magazine
References and notes
- ^ Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - About In Bloom
- ^ RHS Britain in Bloom campaign statistics
- ^ The Garden, (Journal of The Royal Horticultural Society), October 2002, p752)
- ^ a b c d e Graham Ashworth CBE, Britain in Bloom, pages 7 & 8, The Tidy Britain Group (Wigan:1991)
- ^ Lewisham in Bloom heroes pick up awards
- ^ a b Woolton in Bloom - Information on Britain in Bloom
- ^ The Garden, (Journal of The Royal Horticultural Society), April 2003, p233)
- ^ a b c Wednesday, 8 August 2007, Flower power: The Britain in Bloom phenomenon, The Independent
- ^ RHS Britain in Bloom
- ^ Graham Ashworth CBE, Britain in Bloom, The Tidy Britain Group (Wigan:1991)
- ^ From Bloom Review, Issue 8, Spring 2006: Champion of Champions - This is a category within the RHS Britain in Bloom UK Finals where selected communities, of all population sizes, who have demonstrated sustained high standards in the Bloom campaign, are invited to compete for the title of ‘Champion of Champions’. These entries are judged against the Bloom criteria relevant to their population, and then compared to determine the overall winner.
- ^ RHS Britain in Bloom Awards Winners 2008
- ^ RHS Britain in Bloom Awards Winners 2007
- ^ The Entente Florale itself has taken different forms, such as the "ENTENTE FLORALE – Ten Nations Competition" and the "ENTENTE FLORALE – Britain - France - Belgium Competition"
Other language Wikipedias
- Category A
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