South Swindon has been evaluated as part of the Britain In Bloom competition.
Led by local volunteers, the South Swindon In Bloom movement encompasses several prominent community groups, including the Old Town Residents Association Gardeners (OTRA Gardeners), the Friends of Shaftesbury Lake, and Growing South Swindon Community.
Together, these organizations have collaborated to enhance the area and create a warm and vibrant ambiance for residents and visitors alike.
The judges visited locations as diverse as major parks such as the Town Gardens and a garden project based at the Central Community Centre, where the cultivation is done by refugees and asylum seekers assisted by the borough council's Live Well project and the Mechanics Institution Trust.
One of the judges, Nick James, said: "We saw a lot of volunteer work, with the planting of sustainable beds which were full of colour.
"We've seen a lot of good work in the gardens here and the local park staff have shown us their work."
South Swindon Parish Council first entered the competition in 2019, being awarded a silver medal and a trophy for best Victorian Park. In 2021, they again achieved a Silver Medal, followed by a Silver Gilt Medal in 2022.
The 2023 entry is the first time South Swindon is entered into the Tesco Cup, the main competition of In Bloom, after entering the Pennant Class for its previous three entries.
In recent years, South Swindon in Bloom has fostered a collaborative partnership encompassing numerous local community groups, organizations, businesses, and volunteers, significantly contributing to its success.
Some of the groups include, the Old Town Residents Association Gardeners (OTRA Gardeners), the Friends of Shaftesbury Lake, Growing South Swindon Community, the Cambria Bridge Community Gardeners and the GAP Community Gardens.
The Britain In Bloom judges' visit was an opportunity for South Swindon to showcase the collective efforts of its volunteers and community groups. The 2023 entry features various community initiatives from across South Swindon based around three distinct hubs. These are the Old Town area, Central Swindon and East Swindon, each one having unique characteristics and contribution to the history of Swindon.
Parsh council Chair of Leisure, Environment and Amenities Cllr Linda Kasmaty said: "It has been a privilege to collaborate with numerous local individuals and groups who possess a deep passion for enhancing their surroundings.
"Witnessing the positive impact their endeavours have made on the environment in South Swindon has been truly inspiring."
More information on the South Swindon In Bloom 2023 can be found at https://southswindon-pc.gov.uk/south-swindon-in-bloom/
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