A growing number of gardening groups competing in this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom competition are prioritising the regeneration of urban areas as communities recognise the value of green spaces to people and planet.
Now in its 56th year, 70 competition finalists will be going all-out to showcase their horticultural skills, community and environmental efforts. Finalists are put forward to the national final based on their progress regionally and compete across 11 categories including village, town and coastal.
Each will be visited by a pair of RHS judges in August as they vie for a medal, a category win and to be named Champion of Champions.
Nearly two-thirds are participating in town, city or other urban categories, reflecting growing recognition of the importance of plants and green space for both wellbeing and the environment.
This includes the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town and City Centres category which has seen a surge in entries since it was introduced two years ago. Leeds, Blackburn and Paddington, London, are among the ten finalists that will be greening central shopping and business hubs by increasing the number of plants to help mitigate urban pollution, flooding and temperature rises and boost footfall and lower vacancy rates.
Last year, the competition was won by the Scottish city of Perth which impressed with its whole-community approach to sustainability, pollinator-friendly planting and campaign to raise awareness of and collect plastic waste.
Chair of the Britain in Bloom judging panel, Darren Share, said: “We’re noticing more towns and cities keen to tackle some of today’s most pressing challenges by tapping into the benefits of urban greening, with reasons ranging from concerns about our changing climate and air pollution to turning the tide on high street decline.”
John Summers OBE, Chair of Beautiful Perth, said: “Winning the Champion of Champions award has meant a great deal to everyone in Perth. We have had so many comments about how clean and green our city looks, and what a positive impact that has on the local economy and quality of life. Winning really has boosted pride in our Fair City of Perth.”
The Champion of Champions title, winners of each category and finalists’ medals – ranging from gold to bronze – will be announced in Manchester in October.
For more information about RHS Britain in Bloom and to search for community gardening groups in your area please visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/communities/find-a-group-search-form
For more information about the RHS Britain in Bloom finalists visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/bloomfinalists
Britain in Bloom UK Finalists 2020 (by Region/Nation)
|King’s Lynn||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
|Ulverston BID||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
Guernsey (Floral Guernsey)
Heart of England
Jersey (Natural Jersey)
|St Helier||Large Coastal|
|Paddington Now||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
|Blackburn||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
Scotland (Keep Scotland Beautiful)
|St Andrews||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
|Uddingston Pride||Urban Community|
South and South East
|New Milton||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
|Royal Tunbridge Wells||Large Town|
|Sevenoaks||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
|St Austell||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
Thames & Chilterns
|Banbury||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
|Stony Stratford||Small Town|
|Colwyn Bay||Large Town|
|Mathern, Mounton & Pwllmeyric||Village|
|Leeds||Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centres & City Centres|
Britain in Bloom with the RHS
- UK’s biggest community gardening campaign involves around 3,500 community groups and hundreds of thousands of local volunteers who work year-round to keep our neighbourhoods and streets green, clean and thriving.
- Bloom was started by the British Tourist Authority as a way to attract visitors to the UK through floral displays. In 2001, the RHS took over as organisers and have developed the campaign to include greater focus on community participation and environmental responsibility.
- In 2006, the RHS launched a new grass roots level for Bloom – It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) – which is aimed at small volunteer groups (such as youth groups, ‘Friends of’ groups, etc.)
- Since 1964, Bloom has evolved from what many saw as a rural hanging basket competition to a major socio-environmental campaign that is improving villages, towns and cities across the UK
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all that we do, from inspirational gardens and shows, through our scientific research, to our education and community programmes such as Campaign for School Gardening and Britain in Bloom. We produce key publications, hold a world-class collection of horticultural books and botanical art, and sell the very best plants and gardening gifts.
The RHS is fundraising £40m to transform our gardens, outreach and education facilities, which includes redeveloping our flagship RHS Garden Wisley and opening a new garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater, in 2020. We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk.
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262