The town won gold in the 'small city' category in the annual Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Heart of England in Bloom contest. The results were announced at an awards ceremony in Birmingham today.
The award is given to ‘exceptional achievers who have demonstrated a consistently high standard in all areas of the judging criteria'.
The judges visited the town on July 26 for a three-and-a-half hour tour, starting at Shrewsbury Castle before moving on to the town centre and the award-winning Dingle gardens. The town was judged against exacting criteria for not only its spectacular floral features, but also on the work that the community engages in on a local level and the conservation and recycling schemes in place to help protect our environment.
Keith Roberts, chairman of the Shrewsbury in Bloom committee, said he was delighted with the results, especially considering this year’s challenging weather conditions. “We have had a combination of floods and drought to deal with this year and with these difficult conditions, we are extremely proud to have achieved Gold standard again," he said. "The town council’s horticultural team have worked hard to ensure that the floral features around the town have looked their best throughout the summer.
“Shrewsbury in Bloom isn’t just about flowers, and it was important to show the judges that the whole community gets involved in the Bloom ethos. We have taken the judges to a wide variety of community projects this year and we have demonstrated that there are so many great projects that help to improve not only local areas but also the lives of our residents.”
Shrewsbury was also awarded gold in the 'parks and open spaces' category for Monkmoor Meadows, whilst picking up a silver award for Abbey Gardens, with both locations incorporated into the main tour of the town.
Helen Ball, town clerk, added: “It is testament to the hard work by so many people here in Shrewsbury that we have maintained our standards with this award. I would like to thank everyone who has helped us achieve Gold in the main category again this year in what have been testing conditions.
“We have seen a great collaborative effort from not only Shrewsbury Town Council and our partners at Shropshire Council, but also from the many businesses that sponsor the traffic islands and the Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID) who have helped in supporting us with organising the purchase of hundreds of hanging baskets.
“We have been able to show the judges just what goes on in our great town through the work by Shrewsbury Food Hub and the Barnabas Community Project to the hard graft put in by our residents on the various allotment sites around town.
“The Bloom campaign is all about how the community comes together and we can see the civic pride in our town, which I think we have been able to demonstrate to the judges this year and this Gold in the Small City category awards reflects that.”