New blood and vision needed for Ottery in Bloom

PUBLISHED: 17:31 18 November 2018

Mayor Glyn Dobson shakes hands with Keith Spittlehouse of the Otter Valley Rotary Club as the announcement of grants during Ottery Town Council's annual meeting.

Mayor Glyn Dobson shakes hands with Keith Spittlehouse of the Otter Valley Rotary Club as the announcement of grants during Ottery Town Council's annual meeting.


New blood is are being sought to keep Ottery’s floral display blooming for future years.

Ottery in Bloom is seeking more volunteers as leading committee members have announced they will be stepping down next year.

Secretary and treasurer Keith Spittlehouse has been a part of the group since 2003, but says he will continue to assist the group as long as he is able one he steps down from the committee in 2019.

He said the group has been searching for new members to take on roles for the last two years but without success.

In the 1990s the group entered and won several awards in the regional South West in Bloom competition but in recent times it has not had the manpower to make this possible.

Mr Spittlehouse said: “The number of active members of the Ottery in Bloom group is now so small that the loss of support from any key member could put the whole project in jeopardy.”

He said volunteers were particularly needed to help in the summer.

Members begin selecting, purchasing and growing ‘plug’ plants for the town’s summer displays which continues until late September finishing with the clearing of the tubs and stands in October.

The treasurer said in recent months the group have worked on a sensory area alongside the library and hanging baskets outside the newly opened museum.

Mr Spittlehouse wrote to the town council to warn of the effect on the group if it could not attract new members.

He said: “A breakdown in continuity during this nine to 10 month period could result in no plants or abandoned displays which could reflect adversely on Ottery in Bloom and on the town.”

Mr Spittlehouse said the group would be able to absorb the additional costs next year, but could be required to ask for more funding from the town council in future years.

Mr Spittlehouse said: “New blood usually comes with enthusiasm and with new ideas or wanting to develop our plans which we have not been able to put into practise.

“Ottery has been blooming well for many years. It would be a blooming shame if Ottery has no floral displays in summers to come.”

If you would like to get involved and join Ottery in Bloom telephone Keith on 01404 812155.

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