Britain's Grassroots Gardeners Go for Gold

Wednesday 25 July 2012

RHS Britain in Bloom Finals 2012 National Judging Tour (30 July – 10 August)


Over a period of just two weeks, fourteen Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Judges will be assessing over 1,100 acres of public space to find Britain’s most beautiful and environmentally responsible locations, in the ultimate gardening challenge.

The 72 finalists were picked from several thousand entries in RHS Britain in Bloom 2012, the UK’s biggest environmental campaign, and will be making final preparations for the tour which begins on 30 July until 10 August.

From major industrial cities like Wigan and Leeds to small villages such as Bray and Scarva, each finalist represents its region/nation and aims to impress the RHS Britain in Bloom National Judges and win its category1. Judges assess horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility. Projects to be assessed include wildlife conservation areas and public spaces such as parks and community gardens. Everything from the sustainability of a planting scheme to the cleanliness of a street bench, including how much the community engages local schools, will come under inspection.

Roger Burnett, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom UK Judging Panel, said: “Our finalists have had to endure difficult weather conditions and ongoing council cuts. But this is why I’m even more excited than normal, because I love seeing the imaginative ways communities overcome challenges. It was reported that groups were pulling out of Britain in Bloom because of these problems but, in fact, we’ve had a ten percent increase in the number of groups signing up, making it a record year for ‘Bloom’. Nothing fazes our volunteers and RHS Britain in Bloom 2012 represents a sense of community spirit and endeavor which is an inspiration to us all.”

With Roger at the helm, there are seven pairs of RHS Britain in Bloom National Judges2. Together they will travel the length and breadth of the UK and meet thousands of volunteers over a two-week period. The judges will be assessing many hundreds of community projects, checking whether these projects are environmentally responsible as well as visually impactful and beneficial to the community.

Each year, an estimated 200,000 volunteers contribute an average of around 44 hours per person to local Britain in Bloom activities. These volunteers – nearly three times the number involved in that London-based sporting event coming up – plant hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs and plants to green-up and clean-up more than a million acres of public space. RHS research3 shows that their work is making an extraordinary difference to both the physical and socio-economic landscape of Britain.

Results will be announced on 6 October 2012 at a prestigious awards ceremony in St Peter Port, Guernsey. Finalists will be awarded RHS Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver or Bronze medals. There is also an award for best in category, as well as special discretionary awards given for achieving excellence in particular fields.

For more information, or to arrange interviews with any of the finalists, please contact Ed Horne in the RHS press office on 020 7821 3356 or  


Notes to editors

Photograph shows: Muthill in Bloom volunteers in Muthill, Perth and Kinross taking a breather while preparing for the arrival of the RHS Britain in Bloom National Judges. (Credit: Muthill in Bloom)

1, 2012 Finalists
Note: Due to special circumstances created by the Olympics, some finalists have had to be judged outside the judging fortnight

Entry Name - Category - Region / Nation - Judging date
Broughshane - Champion of Champions - Ulster - Friday 3 August
Cleethorpes - Champion of Champions - East Midlands - Tuesday 31 July
Forres - Champion of Champions - Scotland - Thursday 2 August
Stockton - Champion of Champions - Northumbria - Wednesday 1 August
Thornbury - Champion of Champions - South West - Monday 30 July
Aberdeen - City - Scotland -Tuesday 7 August
Northampton - City - East Midlands - Wednesday 1 August
Norwich - City - Anglia - Thursday 2 August
Oldham - City - North West - Monday 30 July
Westminster - City - London - Tuesday 17 July
Bangor - Coastal Over 12k - Ulster - Friday 3 August
Great Yarmouth - Coastal Over 12k - Anglia - Wednesday 1 August
Herne Bay - Coastal Over 12k - South East - Monday 30 July
Sidmouth - Coastal Over 12k - South West - Monday 6 August
Filey - Coastal Up to 12k - Yorkshire - Monday 6 August
Grouville - Coastal Up to 12k - Jersey - Sunday 29 July
Herm - Coastal Up to 12k - Guernsey - Saturday 28 July
Lytham - Coastal Up to 12k - North West - Thursday 2 August
North Berwick - Coastal Up to 12k - Scotland - Tuesday 7 August
Tenby - Coastal Up to 12k - Wales - Wednesday 8 August
Birmingham - Large City - Heart of England - Tuesday 7 August
Hillingdon - Large City - London - Thursday 9 August
Leeds - Large City - Yorkshire - Friday 3 August
Sunderland - Large City - Northumbria - Tuesday 31 July
Wigan - Large City - North West - Monday 6 August
Belper - Large Town - East Midlands - Friday 3 August
Chichester - Large Town - South East - Wednesday 1 August
Dumfries - Large Town - Scotland - Monday 6 August
Huntingdon -Large Town - Anglia - Wednesday 8 August
Knaresborough - Large Town - Yorkshire - Tuesday 7 August
Rhyl - Large Town - Wales - Friday 10 August
St Helier - Large Town - Jersey - Monday 30 July
Stone - Large Town - Heart of England - Thursday 9 August
Newquay - Town - South West - Tuesday 31 July
Truro - Large Town - South West - Tuesday 31 July
Hillsborough - Large Village - Ulster - Wednesday 8 August
Hutton Cranswick - Large Village - Yorkshire - Friday 10 August
Market Bosworth - Large Village - East Midlands - Thursday 2 August
Melrose - Large Village - Scotland - Tuesday 7 August
Tatsfield - Large Village - South East - Wednesday 1 August
Warkworth - Large Village - Northumbria - Monday 6 August
Crawley - Small City - South East - Wednesday 1 August
Gosport - Small City - South - Tuesday 31 July
Harrogate - Small City - Yorkshire - Thursday 9 August
Loughborough - Small City - East Midlands - Friday 3 August
Taunton - Small City - South West - Monday 30 July
Addingham - Small Town - Yorkshire - Thursday 2 August
Ahoghill - Small Town - Ulster - Monday 30 July
Sedgefield - Small Town - Northumbria - Wednesday 1 August
Wimborne - Small Town - South Friday - 10 August
Woodstock - Small Town - Thames & Chilterns - Wednesday 8 August
Bray - Small Village - Thames & Chilterns - Monday 23 July
Scarva - Small Village - Ulster - Thursday 2 August
Stanghow - Small Village - Northumbria -Tuesday 7 August
Halstead - Town - Anglia - Sunday 29 July
Linlithgow - Town - Scotland - Tuesday 7 August
Morpeth - Town - Northumbria - Wednesday 1 August
Nantwich - Town - North West - Friday 3 August
Windermere - Town - Cumbria - Thursday 2 August
Chirk (Wrexham) - Urban Community - Wales - Wednesday 8 August
Dyce (Aberdeen) - Urban Community - Scotland - Friday 10 August
Kings Heath (Birmingham) - Urban Community - Heart of England - Tuesday 7 August
Kippax (Leeds) - Urban Community - Yorkshire - Thursday 2 August
London Bridge (Southwark) - Urban Community - London - Wednesday 18 July
Moor (Huntingdon) - Urban Community - Anglia - Tuesday 31 July
Seedley & Langworthy (Salford) - Urban Community - North West - Thursday 9 August
Cartmel - Village - Cumbria -Tuesday 31 July
Chipping - Village - North West - Tuesday 31 July
Filby - Village - Anglia - Friday 3 August
Muthill -Village - Scotland - Wednesday 8 August
Spofforth - Village - Yorkshire - Thursday 9 August
St Issey - Village - South West - Monday 6 August

2, The RHS Britain in Bloom National Judging Panel:

Roger Burnett – Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom National Judging Panel
Jeff Bates – Deputy Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom National Judging Panel
Jon Wheatley – Deputy Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom National Judging Panel

Village, City judging team
Roger Burnett and Sharon Thomas

Large Town, Small Village judging team
Jeff Bates and Brendan Mowforth

Urban Community, Coastal over 12,000 judging team
Mel Henley and Martyn Hird

Town, Coastal up to 12,000 judging team
Nigel Bishop and Sue Wood

Large Village, Small City judging team
Jim Goodwin and Andrew Jackson

Small Town, Large City judging team
Rae Beckwith and Jon Wheatley

Champion of Champions judging team
Jim Knight and John Woodward

3 To read the RHS Britain in Bloom Impact Report, please go to

About RHS Britain in Bloom and RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood
RHS Britain in Bloom and RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood help more than 2,800 communities around the UK to improve their local environment. Using gardening as a tool, volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to make positive changes that touch the lives of millions. To find out more, visit:

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

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

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

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262