National recognition for Beer as village lands silver gilt award

Ursula Makepeace with Roger Burnett and Councillor Martin Richard at the Britain in Bloom awards

Ursula Makepeace with Roger Burnett and Councillor Martin Richard at the Britain in Bloom awards - Credit: Archant

Volunteers from Beer took home a silver gilt award as the village took part in the Britain in Bloom competition for the first time. Beer Horticultural Society could compete at the national level again in 2018, when chairman Ursula Makepeace – who had been thinking of retiring – is determined to claim gold.

Everyone in the village will need to come together to attain that higher award and the judges have given an insight into what needs to improve.

“It was a fantastic event and a wonderful ceremony,” said Ursula, who was joined at the awards ceremony at Edgbaston Cricket Club by her friend Monica Whyte, Beer Parish Council chairman Martin Richards and Pecorama gardeners Teresa Cook and Steve Summers.

“We were congratulated by South West in Bloom judges.

“We saw entries from all 72 entries. It gave Beer UK-wide recognition.

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“We’re all very proud of our floral displays and of the support we’ve had from the village, especially in financial terms.

“Without the fundraising and contributions, we would never have been able to enter in the first place.”

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Beer has entered South West in Bloom since 1985, but communities have to be invited to take part in the national competition.

The awards were presented last Friday by Councillor Carl Rice, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Royal Horticultural Society president Sir Nicholas Bacon and Gardeners’ World presenter Chris Beardshaw.

The ceremony was followed on Saturday by a chance to meet judges. Ursula was told that, to win gold next time, the entry will have to include Beer Quarry Caves, the heritage centre, the Jurassic Coast, beach and fishing huts.

She said: “The three elements – horticulture, environmental responsibility and community participation are all equally important.

“Everyone has to pull together to win the gold.”

The silver gilt and the Beer in Bloom awards will both be celebrated with a cream tea at Pecorama today (Friday).

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