May I, through your column, thank everyone who has contributed to Harrogate not only winning the ‘small city’ category (even though we are officially a town) in the RHS Britain in Bloom Awards, but also to being invited to enter Champion of Champions in 2017.
This accolade comes with a great deal of effort not only from Harrogate Council being responsible for the wonderful roundabouts and flower beds plus the environmental responsibility for recycling and litter-picking, but also from the local community groups.
The split between council and community effort is approximately 50/50 and without a great deal of effort on both parts, Harrogate would not be in such an enviable and successful position.
There were five gold awards in our category and Harrogate won the highest gold award – gold in horticultural achievement, gold in environmental responsibility and gold in community participation.
The businesses in Harrogate need to take full advantage of this award because it serves not only to attract visitors to the town but also to persuade businesses to locate here and thus bring new people to inhabit the local area. All this creates high standards of education and healthcare, keeps house prices at a premium and more money is injected into the local economy.
When we were called up to receive our award the presenter stated that Harrogate is the ‘happiest place in England to live’!
Harrogate in Bloom is the catalyst for Team Harrogate, which comprises the community groups working together with Harrogate Parks and Environmental Services – namely Bilton Conservation Group, Friends of Bachelor Fields, Harrogate and District Allotment Society, Harrogate Biodiversity Action Group, Harrogate and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Harrogate Civic Society, Harrogate Flower Shows, Hookstone and Stonefall Park Action Group, Horticap, Millie’s Green, Pinewoods Conservation Group, Rossett Nature Reserve and Woodlands Methodist Church Community Group. There is also a great contribution from Friends of the Valley Gardens.
Our aim is now to achieve gold medal standard in Champion of Champions 2017 and to do this we need more help.
It would be advantageous to demonstrate more work with young people and with this in mind we need a volunteer who is experienced with working with children of any age on a horticultural or environmental project.
Please, if you are interested in becoming involved, telephone 01423 509971 or email firstname.lastname@example.org - it is all great fun!
Again, a big thank you to Harrogate Parks and Environmental Services and all Team Harrogate – a fine example of all working together!
Harrogate in Bloom