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Success for Colchester at Britain In Bloom awards

Date issued: 3 November 2017

Colchester has received national recognition for its green and beautiful public spaces, winning a Silver Gilt Medal at the RHS Britain in Bloom Awards held in Llandudno, Wales

The town was entered into the prestigious national competition by the Colchester in Bloom team, a partnership between a volunteer committee, Colchester Borough Council and Idevrde. Representing Anglia in the Small City category, Colchester impressed judges with its rich natural and built heritage, cleanliness and attractive landscaping.

The town centre's green spaces received particular praise, with judges noting that "at times you could easily forget you are in an urban environment."

In addition to the Silver Gilt medal, placing Castle Park among the best in the country, it was also nominated by judges for the prestigious Parks and Green Spaces award, narrowly missing out to Seaton Park in Aberdeen.

In their comments, the judges praised Castle Park's "large green spaces, wonderful trees and permanent planting, show beds and special features." They were particularly struck by the Sunken Garden, a colourful floral display within a walled garden, which "certainly has the wow factor", alongside the "outstanding children's play facilities" and "extremely clean" appearance of the whole park.

Following announcement of the results, the judges added: "Unfortunately, Castle Park didn't win the award, but it was very, very close and just to be nominated, out of all the finalists in Britain in Bloom, is an achievement in itself. We would not have put the park forward as a nomination, out of all the parks that we saw on our judging tour this year, if we weren't impressed with it."

Councillor Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: "It's a great honour to be invited to take part in Britain in Bloom and this national recognition of our central park is a terrific achievement for Colchester. I would like to thank all the staff, volunteers and Friends of Castle Park who put so much hard work in, not just to win awards, but to create a beautiful space for Colchester residents to enjoy every day."

Special recognition was also given individually to Pam Schomberg, Chair of Colchester in Bloom, who received a Community Champion award as a volunteer who has gone above and beyond to make their Bloom campaign a success.

Pam said: "Sherry Hodgson and I were over the moon with our results at the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Llandudno. The judges could not have spoken more highly of our town and especially the Castle Park, which they said was the highlight of their tour. I thank all the In Bloom team for the time and hard work they put in throughout the year, and well done all the folk at Castle Park who well deserve this honour."

For more information about Britain in Bloom, please visit www.rhs.org.uk/communities/campaigns/britain-in-bloom.

ENDS