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Farnham at its best

Group of people standing behind a hop cart filled with flowers.

Farnham positively blossomed on Wednesday when the RHS Britain in Bloom judges came to town. 

Facing tough competition in the new BIDS, town centres and city centres category, members of the Farnham in Bloom community were determined to show the judges what makes Farnham’s entry worthy of an award. 

During a tour lasting more than two hours, the judges met volunteers from the Farnham Rivers Group, volunteers from space2grow, Bishop’s Meadow, Farnham Community Farm, Victoria Garden, and children from St Andrew’s who interrupted their school holiday to show the judges their school garden. The judges also met members of the business community who talked about how Farnham in Bloom enhances the street scene and makes it an enjoyable place for people to visit and shop. 

Councillor Sally Dickson, Lead Member for Farnham in Bloom said: “The judging criteria for Britain in Bloom is much tougher than for the regional competition. Greater importance is now placed on the environment and the business community, so we made full use of our time with the judges to show them examples of how we work with businesses to bring people into the town, the environmentally friendly practices we have adopted and the high standards we expect from those who are in a position to shape the look and feel of our streets. 

“While I am very proud of what has been achieved this year, the judges wanted to see evidence that the standard is sustainable. Thanks to the ongoing support and commitment from our Principal sponsor the Farnham Institute Charity and our many other sponsors, we receive contributions in excess of £30,000 in time and money. Add this to the fact that our volunteers give time which is equivalent to eight full time members of staff and we were able to speak confidently about our plans for the future.”

The judges’ visit ended with a lunchtime reception which included many of the volunteers they met during their tour. The Mayor of Farnham, Councillor Pat Evans thanked the judges and judge Ian Beaney responded by saying: “When I visit a town I deliberately do not do any research beforehand as for me, the measure of a place is whether I end the visit feeling like I would like to return – I would like to return to Farnham.

“Community spirit flows in Farnham and we saw many examples. Farnham exudes the spirit of Britain in Bloom. Its In Bloom credentials are shown for all to see and around every twist and small street we went down there was horticultural quirkiness. The horticulture complements the architecture of the town and its artisan feel.” 

The 2019 Farnham in Bloom video gives an insight into Farnham’s entry.

The results of Britain in Bloom will be announced in October. 

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