Ottery celebrates South West in Bloom success

OTTERY S floral features have bagged regional recognition after a plucky quintet beat the odds to land silver South West in Bloom success for the town.

OTTERY'S floral features have bagged regional recognition after a plucky quintet beat the odds to land silver South West in Bloom success for the town.

Ottery in Bloom chairman Sarah Clarke said in April the group, which only boasts five members from a parish of eight thousand, was in danger of "folding" if it didn't receive more public support.

Four months on, Sarah, Joy Richardson, Roy Wright, Keith Spittlehouse, and John Maybery, with a little help from local youngsters, were this week celebrating a sliver award in the South West in Bloom's Ayre Cup.

It was the first time Ottery had been entered in three years and the town's first taste of Bloom success since 1998.


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"I'm thrilled," said Sarah, who added: "A lot of work went in before the judging, we were out pulling weeds until 9.30pm at night.

"There has been a lot of pulling together. The community got involved and we have had volunteers looking after some of the flowers."

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Youngsters from Ottery's Guides, Brownies and Rainbows gave the town a horticultural helping hand in June by planting a host of flowers. Recycling service Otter Rotters had previously aided bloom members by emptying weed-ridden planters around the town, re-filling them with fresh compost. The Rotary Club of Otter Valley also chipped in by watering flowers, some of which were donated and bedded by East Devon District Council.

Ottery in Bloom's longest serving member of 15 years Roy Wright, praised the group's leader. "Sarah has done a grand job," said Roy, "It's an uphill struggle, you just can't get the volunteers."

Fellow bloomer Joy Richardson said: "I'm delighted, this has spurred us on to work hard for next year."

- Ottery in Bloom has called a public meeting in the Old Convent town council offices in Broad Street on Friday, October 14, at 6.30pm. The group want to encourage more public involvement for next year's bid for South West in Bloom glory.

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