Silver gilt success for Leighton as park gets a gold

Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Children  Start of Life
Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Children  Start of Life
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Entry into Anglia in Bloom once again had a silver lining for Leighton-Linslade when the results were announced on Thursday afternoon.

At the awards ceremony at Wodson Park, Ware around 300 people including mayors and civic heads from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk found out the outcome of the 2015 contest. It followed a July visit of the judging team to Leighton.

Falling into the City category (35,001 - 200,000 residents), Leighton Linslade matched its silver gilt award of the last few years – Norwich winning the gold award and the category.

In the Best Public Open Space, Parson’s Close Recreation Ground picked up a gold award, although Castle Park in Colchester won the section overall. A silver gilt was also handed to Vandyke Cemetery, with Wisbech winning this cemeteries category.

Leighton had also received nominations for Best Drought /Sustainable Garden (The Cottage Garden), Environmental Quality Award, Grow Your Own Award(Stephen Bennett’s Allotment), End of World War 2 Commemoration Award (Mentmore Memorial Garden).

The best overall entry and winner of the Anglia in Bloom trophy went to Halstead.

David Rosie, acting chairman of Leighton-Linslade in Bloom said this year’s campaign had been another when the group had not only consolidated its work within the town, but had recently developed a new Community Garden, with attractive floral displays, in Pages Park.

He said: “The year has also seen a growth in the community spirit in the town when small groups of volunteers have combined forces to enhance the appearance and the environment. Leighton-Linslade In Bloom has become even more well-known with the town’s residents.

“The group of approximately 35 volunteers working with the town council organise and run the popular Open Gardens events in June /July, and the Plant Stalls in May and June. In addition, working with South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth and Friends of Tiddenfoot Waterside Park the group helps in their long and short term projects. Litter picking and graffiti removal also forms part of the groups less glamorous but necessary work, as well as organisation of competitions with local schools to raise the awareness of environmental issues and the contribution of floral displays within the town.

“Leighton-Linslade In Bloom has appreciated the support given by the Town Council and by industrial and individual sponsors. It has particularly welcomed the assistance given by volunteers from Waitrose and Tesco who have kindly helped in our projects.”

Town councillor Amanda Dodwell added: “I am delighted that the town has again achieved several awards in Anglia in Bloom, and I would like to thank all those who have given their time and energy to make this possible.

“Yet again, the town has looked fantastic across the summer months, thanks to the efforts of the many volunteers and the town council’s own staff. I am particularly proud of the Gold Award for Parson’s Close which comes on top of the Green Flag awarded earlier in the year.

“These awards are appropriate recognition for the many hours that have gone into making our town such a great place to live, and demonstrate what can be achieved when the community comes together.”

Bob Ollier, chairman of Anglia in Bloom said: “The Anglia in Bloom communities across the six counties should be justifiably proud of this year’s achievements. This year standards have continued on from last year with excellent awards achieved, the outstanding community work, many resourceful projects and superb colourful displays have all added to these standards, with 26 Gold, 29 Silver Gilt, 13 Silver, 3 Bronze.

> The In Bloom group would welcome new volunteers of any age or ability to assist in their projects for 2015-16. Contact David Rosie via davidandjudith.rosie@btinternet.com or 01525 370279.