14 Days and 14 Judges, 77 Finalists

Friday 2 August 2013

RHS Britain in Bloom 2013 UK Finals Judging Tour (29 July – 9 August)

Starting on Monday (29 July)*, seven pairs of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges will begin a two-week tour of the UK assessing an estimated 90,000 acres of public green space in 77 locations that have made it to the national finals of RHS Britain in Bloom – Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign.

Over the following fortnight, the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel of expert horticulturists will crisscross the whole of Great Britain to visit villages, towns and cities that were picked from nearly 1,000 to represent their region or nation in the UK finals. North Berwick (Scotland), Stanghow (Yorkshire), Lytham (Lancashire), Halstead (Essex) and Herm (Channel Islands) are competing for the title of Champion of Champions, the ultimate RHS Britain in Bloom award.

More than 20,000 volunteers have invested 100,000 hours to earn a place in the finals by brightening up streets with floral displays, litter-picking and street-tidying, creating wildflower meadows to help local wildlife, transforming derelict land in to community havens, growing produce, and so much more. In fact, Bournemouth bloomers have created the town’s first edible flower bed for local residents and visitors to enjoy.

Roger Burnett, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel, said: “Many see RHS Britain in Bloom as a floral competition but spectacular hanging baskets make up only a very small part of the campaign. We’ll be looking at how the finalists have used public green spaces for the benefit of the whole community, and the environment.

“I am particularly looking forward to seeing how finalists are innovating to meet current needs to reduce inputs, both economically and environmentally, and how they are encouraging wildlife in their green spaces.

“I’m sure we’ll all need a good rest after the tour, but meeting passionate people and seeing the extraordinary work they’ve done will make the entire trip a delight. Good luck to all the 2013 finalists.”

Britain in Bloom started in 1964 as a way of marketing the country through floral displays. It is now a national campaign with a strong focus on environmentally responsible practices, and bringing people together.

In fact, more than half of finalists cite the biggest benefit of being involved in RHS Britain in Bloom as bringing the community together. 42% say increased civic pride is the most notable impact and 31% said it is having cleaner and greener surroundings. Other benefits include improved local economies, better profile of area and a reduction in crime and antisocial behaviour.

Each finalist will be judged on the basis of community participation, environmental responsibility and horticultural achievement** and will be awarded a Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver or Bronze medal. There is also an award for best in category, as well as special discretionary awards given for achieving excellence in particular fields. The results will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony on 12 October, in Cleethorpes.

Judging will begin on Monday 29 July in Bournemouth, Caistor, Henley-on-Thames, North Berwick, St Brelade, St Issey and Tunbridge Wells.



Notes to editors

For more information, images or finalist contact details, please contact Ed Horne, on 020 7821 3356 / edhorne@rhs.org.uk

*Bracknell, Falmouth and Wisbech are being judged before the official start of the tour (29 July)
For a full list of finalists please click here

**RHS Britain in Bloom Judging
Taking into consideration three key criteria – horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility – RHS judges will assess public spaces such as parks, city or town centres and communal gardens as well as natural spaces including wildflower meadows and conservation areas. They score finalists on a comprehensive range of factors from recycling and waste management or condition of street furniture, to how much young people are aware of, and engaged with, Britain in Bloom initiatives.

About RHS Britain in Bloom
RHS Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving more than 300,000 people. As part of RHS Britain in Bloom – and its sister campaign, RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood – volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to improve their local environment, using gardening as a tool.
To find out more, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/communities  

Get Involved Map
The online map enables volunteers to find and contact their local community gardening groups and schools registered with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. There are thousands of opportunities to get involved with community gardening groups and schools around the UK. To search through more than 1,000 “in Bloom” groups, 1,100 It's Your Neighbourhood groups, 16,000 schools and 1,235 affiliated clubs and societies, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/getinvolved

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 209 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262


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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262