Shropshire Star

Shropshire hospice celebrates its gardening greatness

A Shropshire charity is celebrating after being honoured for its picturesque gardens.

Head gardeners Chris Watkins and Alexis James with awards

Severn Hospice and two of its volunteers have collected several awards as part of the RHS Britain in Bloom It's Your Neighbourhood scheme.

The charity received Level Five Outstanding awards for its grounds in Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury and Apley Castle, Telford.

Volunteer gardeners Dave Hall and William Offland also received awards at the ceremony.

They were among six volunteers from the Midlands to receive Certificates of Merit for their dedication and contributions to gardening.

It's Your Neighbourhood rewards work done by groups of volunteers who help improve their local environment through gardening.


Lead gardeners Alexis James and Chris Watkins said they were delighted to have received the recognition from the Britain in Bloom awards.

Chris added: "It is testament to the hard work of our team of volunteer gardeners that we have received these awards.

"We were thrilled when they read out Dave and William's names for the Merit awards. Dave is one of our longest-serving volunteers, with 15 years of long service, and William has single-handedly created a new path at our Telford site.

"There are five different levels in the scheme, with level five being the highest, so we are thrilled to have received the top award for both sites.

"Last year we received a Level Four for both sites. Given the adverse weather we've had this year it is a particular achievement to improve on previous years."

The hospice is not the only local group to be celebrating success at the RHS It's Your Neighbourhood Awards.

Bowbrook Allotment Community, which is based in Mytton Oak Road in Shrewsbury, was handed a top level "outstanding" prize at the event. The Bowbrook gardeners also won a discretionary community award and chairman Malcolm Mollart was handed an outstanding merit award in recognition of the work he has put in. The site was opened in May 2009 and has 68 plots.

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