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Bloom Champions Dig Deep in Top Competition

Newcastle’s biggest ever campaign in a prestigious horticultural competition focuses on wildlife and circus.

The two themes underpin gardening activities, events and projects taking place this year as Newcastle in Bloom represents the Heart of England region in the illustrious “Champion of Champions” section of the national UK Bloom finals.

Only top performers are invited to compete in this special category – Newcastle-under-Lyme won the small city categories of the regional and national competitions last year.

The Council is working with community groups, residents, businesses and children to build on celebrated work to improve wildlife habitats as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s “Greening Grey Britain for Wildlife” theme while marking the 250th anniversary of the creation of the modern circus by Newcastle-born Philip Astley.

Work is set to start on creating a welcoming environment for pollinating insects and birds at Golf Links Walks, Chesterton, adjacent to the A34. Community groups are creating a colourful and eye-catching patchwork display of mini meadows by sowing seeds in recycling boxes using compost made from residents’ garden waste. Talks will be delivered to schoolchildren about the importance of recycling.

Sustainable, bee-friendly planting and a hare sculpture, made by PM Training apprentices, is being put in place on the Friars Street roundabout in Newcastle town centre as part of the Council’s flagship “flora and fauna” scheme which is funded by sponsorship and external sources.

More than 1,000 children from 24 schools have submitted circus-themed artwork in the popular painting competition. The winners – yet to be announced – will receive certificates and prizes at Keele University and their work will feature in an exhibition.

Other elements of the campaign include clown and big top floral displays in Newcastle town centre and Council-run gardening competitions.

The remaining “Champion of Champions” contenders are Didsbury in Manchester; Market Bosworth, Leicestershire; Truro, Cornwall; Sidmouth in Devon and the Welsh town of Usk. Judges visit the finalists in August and the results will be announced at a ceremony in Belfast on 19 October.

Simon Long, Community Development Officer, said: “Newcastle in Bloom has enjoyed phenomenal success in Britain in Bloom in recent years. It’s a real honour to represent the Heart of England region in the Champion of Champions – it’s the pinnacle of the borough’s 28-year involvement in the competition.

“Green-fingered people from Newcastle-under-Lyme will once again be at the heart of the entry and we received a warm response at our recent launch events in Newcastle and Kidsgrove. They always work very hard to improve their environment but this year we’re pulling out all the stops to create an extra special campaign. The circus theme, as well as being colourful and exciting, is a great way to play our part in applauding the borough’s proud circus heritage.”

The borough is also competing in the small city category of Heart of England in Bloom. Judging takes place in July.


Last updated 13 April 2018