The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) will celebrate community gardening across the UK through the RHS Community Awards this year.
The new virtual awards replace the RHS Britain in Boom UK Finals competition for 2021 – for the first time in the campaign’s 57-year history – and will see Britain in Bloom groups recognised for their efforts to transform their local areas.
Last year nine in every ten groups* carried on gardening, maintaining our all-important green spaces and harnessing their skills to help others, from growing food to lifting people’s spirits via imaginative planting displays.
Walthamstow Village, London, shared virtual tours of their area, Penrith volunteers grew crops for food parcels and in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, plants and gardening tools were delivered to care home residents.
A total of 63 groups will participate across five categories having been nominated by one of the 16 Britain in Bloom UK regions and nations.
Entrants range from Truro, Britain in Bloom winner in 2018, to groups such as Gosfield, Essex, that are first-timers on the national stage.
Groups will submit evidence digitally in up to three award categories to a panel of Bloom and RHS horticultural, wildlife and environmental experts.
The categories are:
· Nourishing Your Community – Growing, sharing or enjoying food with others
· Nature-friendly Gardening – Creating habitats and using wildlife-friendly gardening practices
· Green Solutions – Tackling environmental challenges such as climate change, air pollution and flooding
· Cultivating Your Community – Bringing people together by involving a wide cross-section of the community
· Planting with Purpose – Addressing specific challenges such as transforming a neglected area or reducing antisocial behaviour
Kay Clark, RHS Community Development Manager said: “We’ve been truly inspired by the creativity and ingenuity that volunteers have shown throughout the pandemic, supporting their communities while observing the social distancing rules.
“While we’re not able to run the Britain in Bloom UK Finals competition this year, the RHS Community Awards will shine a light on groups’ fantastic efforts during a challenging time.”
The results of the RHS Community Awards, including the most outstanding entries in each category, will be announced at the end of September with all participants receiving certificates.
For more information about RHS Britain in Bloom and to search for community gardening groups in your area please visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/communities/find-a-group-search-form