Photo: Simon Reed (judge), Leo Chamberlain (St Stephen’s Junior School), Leanne Web (St Peter’s Primary School), Nick Bailey (Judge), Lisa Carlson (Canterbury Connected BID). Photo credit Beth Roo.
Did you know that one third of apple varieties in the world are grown in Kent? This, amongst many other fascinating Kentish facts, sparked a day of discussion at Canterbury’s first Green Heritage conference on Saturday 6 October.
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 so infectious it led to discussions of events focused around apples, the Stour and even a River Festival!
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.