Bloom champions Exmouth won't defend title

SOUTH West in Bloom treble champions Exmouth won t be entering the competition for the first time in over a decade - because they don t have enough volunteers.

SOUTH West in Bloom treble champions Exmouth won't be entering the competition for the first time in over a decade - because they don't have enough volunteers.

For the first time since 1990 Exmouth, who has won the St Bridget Cup for the best large town three years on the turn, won't be taking part.

The victories over the past three years have seen the town go on to represent the region in the national Britain in Bloom Competition.

But chairman Pat Graham said this year they were not going to enter and she warned that without more help entry into future competitions was going to be increasingly difficult.

Chairman Pat Graham said: "We are all getting older and sadly over the last twelve months some of our members have died.

"We don't want to give up but if we don't get new members it will be very difficult to continue. We need new blood."

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Pat Joined Exmouth in Bloom in 1990 and every year since the town has entered:

"In that time the competition has changed beyond all recognition. It used to be just about flowers but now there are so many other aspects like recycling and community involvement. There is a lot more work involved.

"We need new committed members not just planting but to take photos, fundraising and things like that. The flowers each year cost over �1,000 on their own and it's a full time job."

Traditionally East Devon District Council has brought the flowers but with belt-tightening in local Government that won't happen next year.

And some of the county council's flower beds lining the town's roads may end up being grassed over.

"We won't know how it will affect next year until we sit down with Street Scene."

She added another reason they decided not to enter this year was because of the building work in the town's centre piece - The Strand.

"We were concerned how it would be viewed by the judges," she said.

If you would like to volunteer call Pat on: (01395) 273423.