Tamworth has gold fever following another successful year in the Heart of England in Bloom competition – striking GOLD for the eighth year in a row.
The borough’s accolade in the ‘Small City’ category was revealed at a ceremony at Warwick Castle on the evening of September 14. Representatives from Tamworth Borough Council’s Assets and Environment team attended the ceremony to collect the awards where Tamworth also picked up two additional special awards for the community cabinet, a complete surprise.
The first was a special award for the grounds maintenance at Cheatle Court sheltered housing scheme in Dosthill, who took part in the sheltered housing gardening competition. The grounds have been completely transformed with new fencing, planters and flower bed areas. This has been a successful make-over and created an amazing space for the residents to enjoy.
The second was the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Greening Grey Britain’ award for the Arts in Unusual Spaces project, which includes a community initiative called ‘Catch Art’, involving local artists and school children in decorating and brightening up a selection of bus shelters across the town. Catch Art is just one of a number of fantastic projects being delivered by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team, thanks to lottery funding from Arts Council England, to bring art to new and unusual spaces during the refurbishment of Tamworth Assembly Rooms.
Wigginton Park also won gold in the ‘Parks and Open Spaces’ category.
Months of hard work by council staff, community groups, sheltered housing schemes, businesses and green-fingered residents across the borough ensured it was the incredible eighth year for the gold medal by helping to maintain the town’s high standard for fabulous floral displays, impressive community projects and thriving wildlife habitats.
This year’s competition organisers teamed up with the Mercian Regiment to celebrate its 10th anniversary, with the special theme ‘Mercian 10 – the Heart of England’s Infantry’. The theme has been reflected all over Tamworth with beautiful floral displays and the Mercian Regiment crest proudly presented on Moor Street Island.
Judges Nicola Clarke and Roger Tait from Heart of England in Bloom were impressed with what they saw during their tour of Tamworth; they commented: “The high standard of grass cutting and street cleansing, complemented the outstanding work of the Tamworth in Bloom community at projects like Cheatle Court and Belgrave allotments.
“The gardens at Cheatle Court have been transformed with a huge amount of work being carried out by resident Keith Hall. He has reclaimed the area around the side of the scheme into a ‘secret garden’ – complete with bird feeders and post of plants. Other residents at the scheme also contribute to the upkeep of the gardens and the overall standard of maintenance is immaculate. The award given for Grounds Maintenance is something that the residents should be very proud of.
“Partnerships and community spirit continue to thrive in Tamworth, with the spirit of Bloom truly embedded in service delivery.
“Wild about Tamworth also continues to impress at Broad Meadow LNR with the increase in fritillary cover.
“The grey and bland corners of Tamworth have been enlivened by the Catch Art project which has seen beautiful images of wildlife painted onto bus shelters, a WW1 mural painted onto the gable end of a pub, a derelict building given a facelift by the probation
team and empty shops having colourful vinyl inserts installed. This project is a true demonstration of bringing art to unusual spaces and rightly deserved the special Greening Grey Britain award.
“Stunning hanging baskets around the town and barrier planters on the bridges to their full effect, displayed an array of wonderful colours, complemented by the Mercian Regiment carpet flower bed on Moor Street roundabout. The Castle Grounds bedding with the introduction of some perennial planting has certainly contributed to keeping standards high.”
Tamworth in Bloom Champion, Cllr Joy Goodall, said: “Our continued success in this competition is incredible, because staying on top of the game, year after year, means extreme hard work and planning.
“Securing gold again and winning these two special awards really serves to demonstrate the importance of the partnership approach to Tamworth in Bloom. It’s a great team effort across the council, community and business sector and our continued success reflects that.
“The Cheatle Court special grounds maintenance award and the Greening Grey Britain award are a real testament to the creativity and dedication of the sheltered accommodation schemes and members of the Arts and Events team who have worked so hard to develop another great scheme.
“The displays have looked amazing this year thanks to the hard work on the ground by members of the Street Scene team, who work tirelessly all year round to keep the town looking nice with some fantastic floral displays to mark this year’s theme of ‘Mercian 10 – the Heart of England’s Infantry’; but we must also praise the efforts of Tamworth’s growing army of green fingered enthusiasts who are working hard to improve the areas they live in..”
Watch our slideshow from the judging day...