We are absolutely thrilled to announce that despite all the challenges of the last year and a half, Canterbury has been awarded GOLD in the Royal Horticultural Society South & South East in Bloom competition for the sixth time.
‘Canterbury in Bloom’, led by the Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID), highlights the work of over 20 local community groups, businesses and local authority members who work tirelessly to keep Canterbury’s gardens, parks and streets flourishing throughout the year. The annual competition encourages towns, cities and villages to make the UK a more beautiful place to live through imaginative planting, cleanliness, sustainability and community effort.
For the first time this year, the judging tour included St Martin’s Priory and the new Verena Holmes Building at Canterbury Christ Church University, The King’s School and St Augustine’s Abbey, covering the entire World Heritage Site. The Portfolio, which includes more than we can cover on the timed judging tour, also includes the Brymore Nature Group, the Franciscan Way and Hambrook Marshes for the first time.
“The city looked beautiful and well maintained. Horticulture was of a very high standard – the hanging baskets looked really good. Planters and planted areas were also very good. The planting along the wall at Solly’s Orchard was particularly good. Westgate and Dane John Gardens looked superb! The ‘Biodiversity’ initiative around the Canterbury Christ Church University North Holmes campus has a rich selection of landscapes with the wild flower meadows providing an unexpected explosion of colour as you enter the area from beside the Old Prison. A great credit to the city.”Bloom Judge
But the judges were not only awarding merit for horticulture – they were also looking to see strong community and business engagement. This was reflected in the work undertaken by the Canterbury in Bloom Committee, year-round, in particular over the last year with the newly formed Biodiversity Network and the Canterbury Climate Action Partnership, both community-led initiatives; the Great British Spring Clean organised by the Canterbury Society; the No Food Wasted Forum led by Produced in Kent; and the stunning window vinyls promoting the city’s public green spaces organised and funded by Canterbury BID (with support from a KCC member grant).
“Canterbury excels at community engagement – there were so many good projects that people took time to tell us about and quite a few that we didn’t have time to see. Congratulations to all involved.”Bloom Judge
The city’s hard work has paid off – on Friday 17 September, Canterbury City was awarded GOLD for the sixth time. Canterbury was one 52 entries from Kent with over 40% receiving gold.
We were also delighted that one of the long-standing Bloom committee members, Sophie Scott from the Oaten Hill & South Canterbury Association was awarded an Outstanding Achievement award for her work on planting trees and the planting beds near the Odeon Cinema and the Fire Station (both judged “thriving”), and Milton Road (judged “outstanding”).
Lisa Carlson, Canterbury BID Chief Executive said, “Bloom in Canterbury is a hugely positive moment for Canterbury as it not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of our city for locals and visitors alike, but we also know that the beautiful hanging baskets, as well as other features, encourage people to spend longer in our beautiful city. At BID, we are always looking for ways to improve our local environment to inspire more people to spend time in our city plus increase the benefit for local businesses. Our participation in the Bloom campaign provides the perfect opportunity for us to achieve those goals and position Canterbury as a leading destination spot within the UK. “
We would also like to thank Cllr Robert Thomas for the KCC Member Grant to support the Canterbury in Bloom vinyls across the city.
Canterbury can only bloom thanks to the hard work and dedication of all the groups who contributed to this year’s ‘Canterbury in Bloom’ campaign. We are incredibly lucky to have a dedicated, caring and hardworking team of volunteers, community groups and organisations all nurturing and caring for our green spaces, our heritage and our biodiversity in the city, making it a joy to live here now and long into the future.
Contributors to this year’s portfolio are:
- The Abbot’s Mill Project
- Brymore Nature Group
- Canterbury Business Improvement District
- Canterbury Cathedral
- Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)
- Canterbury City Council
- Canterbury College
- Friends of Beverly Meadow
- Friends of Dane John and St. Mary de Castro
- Friends of Kingsmead Field
- Friends of Westgate Parks
- Love Hambrook Marshes
- Oaten Hill and South Canterbury Association
- Rough Old Wife Cider (partnership with CCC to manage public orchards)
- St Augustine’s Abbey (English Heritage)
- St Martin’s Churchyard
- St Mildred’s Area Community Society
- St Peter’s Resident Association
- The Abbots Mill Project
- The Canterbury Society (civic society)
- The Franciscan Gardens
- The Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership (Our Stour)
- The King’s School
- University of Kent (The Kent Oasis Community Garden)
- Whitefriars Shopping Centre
For reference, the 2021 Bloom portfolio is available to see HERE.
Details of our past and present activities are HERE.
Canterbury in Bloom’s award-winning history
- 2021 – S&SeiB: Awarded Gold
- 2020 – S&SEiB: Awarded Gold and featured in Britain in Bloom’s digital campaign
- 2019 – S&SEiB: Awarded Gold and nominated for Britain in Bloom
- 2018 – No campaigns this year – instead we focussed on Canterbury’s Green Heritage
- 2017 –S&SEiB and Britain in Bloom: Awarded Gold
- 2016 – S&SEiB: Retained Gold
- 2015 – S&SEiB: Awarded Gold
- 2013 – S&SEiB: Awarded Silver Gilt
- 2012 – S&SEiB: Awarded Silver