Golden Year for Farnham in the RHS Britain in Bloom 2014 Finals

Farnham to represent the south east in Britain in Bloom in the 50th Bloom finals

Farnham has been selected from more than 1,000 entrants to take part in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals 2014, as the campaign celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. Farnham will be representing the south east.

South East in Bloom nominated Farnham to the national finals of the competition following the regional stage of judging in 2013. Farnham was selected for engaging every element of the community, for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to helping the environment and for horticultural excellence. Farnham will be joining Alton, Malvern and Truro in the Large Town category.

In July/August, Farnham will be visited by two RHS judges who will meet community representatives and go on a tour of local projects. As well as the usual bedding displays, judges will inspect everything from local recycling initiatives to areas of natural habitat and conservation. They’ll also be looking at the management of street furniture and public parks, and will be assessing how well the group is responding to climate change and council cuts by giving awards for sustainable practices and inventive schemes to raise money to fund projects.

Farnham is going for Gold and aim to win their category. Results will be announced at an awards ceremony in Bristol this October and will be attended by representatives of all 74 finalists.

Cllr Jeremy Ricketts, Farnham Town Council’s Lead Member for Farnham in Bloom says: “We are extremely proud to have been nominated to take part in the national finals of Britain in Bloom. In previous years we have seen such enthusiasm from the community for our entry into South East in Bloom. I continue to be so grateful for the contribution that the many residents’ groups, schools, businesses and community organisations make towards making Farnham bloom. This year we want to build on the tremendous support that saw us achieve double gold in 2013.

“It will also be wonderful to get even more people involved and interested in this very special year for Farnham. I would love to hear ideas about how we can make our community even better so that we remain one of the best places to live in the country!”

Stephanie Eynon, RHS Community Horticulture Manager, said: “This is a really special year to be an RHS Britain in Bloom finalist because it’s the fiftieth anniversary of the campaign. We would like to congratulate every group for reaching the finals of RHS Britain in Bloom but of course it’s not about beating fellow finalists, it’s about volunteers of all ages and walks of life gaining recognition for their extraordinary efforts to improve streets and neighbourhoods in towns, villages and cities across Britain. The awards are our opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and may I wish Farnham and every finalist the very best of luck in this golden anniversary year.”

This is the first time Farnham has been a finalist in Britain in Bloom. Farnham Town Council has been the driving force behind Farnham in Bloom since 2005. Last year the project involved volunteers who donated 10,000 hours of time; pupils from 13 local schools and sponsorship from local businesses totalling nearly £10,000.

The story of Britain in Bloom began in 1964 when the tourist board wanted a way to market the country through floral displays. Since the RHS took over as the organising body in 2001, the focus of the campaign has widened to include helping the environment, strengthening communities and inspiring more people to get involved.

Although the campaign runs all year round, the run-up to the judges’ tour is a time when communities throughout the UK unite and redouble their efforts.

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