On Saturday 6 October Canterbury Connected BID hosted the Canterbury in Bloom Conference.
The aim was to raise the profile of green heritage as an integral part of local strategies and increase partnership working across the Business Improvement District (BID) which includes local businesses, the city and county councils, the universities, residents and community groups.
Click below to view the University of Kent’s film highlighting the outcomes of the discussion:
The audience was filled with local community leaders and volunteers from our garden and park societies, so a crowd of keen gardeners. The conference was hosted by Canterbury Connected BID and the Canterbury in Bloom Committee, speakers included BBC presenter Nick Bailey with fantastic ideas for all gardeners and open space planners to help our urban spaces and RHS award winner Kevin Hughes with a whistle stop tour of the urban wildlife we can help encourage and protect within our own gardens as well as public open spaces. Canterbury’s Poet Laureate, Lemn Sissay read his poem for Canterbury – Cantuarian – and his enthusiasm for the city was infectious.
With council officers on panel discussions alongside university representatives, it was inevitable that healthy discussions about the city’s infrastructure and ideas for future proofing our green spaces were high on the agenda. Topics included green accessible routes into the city, the decline in training of young horticulturalists, the issues with sign posting within the city and the council’s strategy for heritage and protection of green spaces.
The highlight of the day was the unveiling of Canterbury in Bloom Schools Competition winners – proving that we have plenty of talented young gardeners and designers. The competition asked local primary school children to design a sculpture that transforms street rubbish into something which is visually and horticulturally striking. From 32 entries, six made the short list and the winning entries were announced by Simon Reed and Nick Bailey. The winners receive prize money for the school:
Alya, Year 4, St Stephen’s Junior School “Birds-eye view garden” – Winner (£300)
Judges comments: “Lovely creativity and we could realise the design well. It covered the brief in all three aspects of horticultural plant ideas, use of street abandoned bike and old chairs and already a
Whitefriars location in mind – a very worthy winner.”
Clement, Year 6, St Peter’s Methodist School “The Dolphin” – Runner Up (£100)
Judges comments: “Simple and elegant idea. The use of recycled bottles highlights the danger in both rivers and then the sea was perfect for Canterbury’s city river. Dolphin/Fish are extremely topical at the moment with pollution also effecting our wildlife for the future.”
Pupil, Year 6, St Peter’s Methodist School “Trolly bench” – Runner Up (£100)
Judges comments: “Innovative material usage. Very detailed engineering description of how to create a usable bench from a damaged and abandoned shopping trolley. Several locations suggested and a good description of how people would enjoy and use it.”
Megan, Year 6, St Peter’s Methodist School – Honourable Mention
Lea, Year 6, St Peter’s Methodist School – Honourable Mention
Noah, Year 6, St Peter’s Methodist School – Honourable Mention
The Canterbury in Bloom Committee are very much looking forward to working with the winning students early next year to make their visions into a reality, ready to form part of the city’s 2019 Bloom Competition entry.
The event was sponsored by Canterbury Connected BID, the University of Kent and Canterbury City Council. Thanks to the additional funding provided by Canterbury City Council and the University of Kent we are able to subsidise the tickets for this event, enabling us to charge just £10 for the day which includes a buffet lunch and walking tours.
10:15 Keynote Speaker – Nick Bailey, Horticulturalist, Garden Maker and Gardeners’ World Presenter
Greening the Urban Environment
11:15 Panel Discussion: Creating New Green Heritage in Canterbury
- Rebecca Booth, Senior Environment Officer, Canterbury City Council
- Rosie Cummings, Principal Archaeology and Heritage Officer, Canterbury City Council
- Peter Vujakovic, Professor of Geography, School of Human and Life Sciences, Canterbury Christ Church University
11:45 Coffee break
12:00 Dr Karen Jones, School of History and Dr Eirini Saratsi, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent
Growing Green Heritage: Why, Where and What Next
13:45 Kevin Hughes, Nationally renowned horticulturalist and RHS Gold Medal Winner
Creating Biodiversity in Urban Spaces
14:15 Panel Discussion: Greener and Cleaner Routes into our City
- Rivers and Parks – Lauren Baker, Westgate Parks and Our Stour
- Orchards – Simon Reed, Director, Canterbury City Orchard Project and Managing Director of Rough Old Wife Cider
- Green Pilgrimage – Peter Morris, North Downs Way Trail Manager, Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
15:00 A poem for Canterbury by Lemn Sissay: Cantuarian
15:15 Announcement of School Competition prize winners
15:30 Closing remarks
16:00 Walking Tours
This event was sponsored by: