Sidmouth set to fight for ‘champion of champions’ title at Britain in Bloom

PUBLISHED: 12:35 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:49 07 February 2018

Sidmouth In Bloom members are pictured with Britain in Bloom judges Ian Beaney and Teresa Potter last summer. Ref shs 32 17TI 9123. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth In Bloom members are pictured with Britain in Bloom judges Ian Beaney and Teresa Potter last summer. Ref shs 32 17TI 9123. Picture: Terry Ife

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Sidmouth is poised battle it out to be named ‘champion of champions’ at this year’s prestigious Britain in Bloom awards.

Now in its 54th year, the competition pits rural villages, urban corners and city centres against one another across a range of criteria that includes horticultural know-how, community engagement, efforts to bolster biodiversity and climate change adaptation.

Finalists are put forward to the national final based on their progress locally and will be scored by a team of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) national judges in the summer.

Darren Share, who chairs the judging panel, said: “The Britain in Bloom campaign galvanises communities and provides the driving force for thousands of gardening enthusiasts across the country.

“Britain in Bloom groups work tirelessly throughout the year to tackle local issues and improve the place they call home.

“Everyone benefits from the work these groups carry out and I have seen first-hand the positive impact Britain in Bloom has in bringing communities together.”

The 76 finalists will compete across 12 categories, with the South West laying claim to the greatest number of finalists.

Seven will represent the region, including two – Sidmouth and Truro – in the illustrious Champion of Champions category.

Didsbury in Manchester, the market towns of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire and Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire and the Welsh town of Usk complete this year’s Champion of Champions line up.

The RHS Britain in Bloom judges will visit the finalists in August with the winners of each category and finalists’ final score – ranging from gold to bronze – announced at an awards ceremony in Belfast on October 19.

For the first time, a new BBC Two series following the quintessentially British competition is set to air this spring, featuring five of this year’s national finalists – Immingham, Lytham, Shrewsbury, Tewkesbury and Usk.

For more information about RHS Britain in Bloom and to search for community gardening groups in your area, visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/communities/find-a-group-search-form.

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