On Friday night (14/10), Birmingham was awarded the Gold award in the Champion of Champions category at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals Awards Ceremony.
Birmingham, which represented the Heart of England region, was one of only six areas from across the UK chosen to compete in the coveted Champion of Champions category of the awards. Birmingham’s medal, the highest available, confirms its position as arguably the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful large city in Britain.
The city was further honored by RHS judges who awarded it the first ever ‘RHS Britain in Bloom Award for Overcoming Adversity’. The award was given in recognition of the way the community pulled together to combat the effects of two floods that hit Edgbaston Guinea Gardens in June.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for clean streets, recycling and environment, Cllr Lisa Trickett, said: “This award not only recognises the creativity and sheer hard work of our parks team, but also the invaluable contributions made by the thousands of volunteers across the city.
“Last week, a poll of Brummies showed that the thing they love most about Birmingham is our parks and open spaces and this week we have been crowned Champion of Champions. We have consistently achieved Gold Awards for our floral displays across the city for the last 11 years, and I am convinced that this is due to the partnerships we have with our residents and their love for our parks.”
The RHS Britain in Bloom Awards ceremony celebrates the huge contribution made by the 300,000 Bloom volunteers whose hard work and dedication help transform what are often grey and unloved areas into greener, cleaner and more beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy.
Over the summer, teams of RHS judges travelled the length and breadth of the country to see the 72 finalists’ Bloom campaigns to determine who would lift the top prizes. Each finalist was assessed against three key criteria: community participation, environmental responsibility and of course, horticultural achievement.
Chairman of the UK Judging Panel, Roger Burnett said: “This has been a truly outstanding year for Britain in Bloom with local communities devoting tremendous amounts of time and effort into greening grey areas and sharing the many health and social benefits of horticulture.
“The judges were very impressed by the way communities refused to let the many challenges they faced hold them back. The finalists’ desire and determination to make their environment as green and pleasant as possible was truly humbling.
“We as judges are privileged to have a front row seat to see Britain in Bloom volunteers change the lives of thousands through their work. And it’s fitting that their efforts are recognised and celebrated.”
The 72 Britain in Bloom finalists were vying for Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze medals, category winner awards and discretionary awards for achieving excellence in particular fields.