Floral hopes bloom

JUDGES for South West in Bloom were very impressed on viewing efforts for this year s competition. On Tuesday judges looked at displays in Exmouth and at East Budleigh, Littleham and Budleigh Salterton the previous Friday.

JUDGES for South West in Bloom were 'very impressed' on viewing efforts for this year's competition.

On Tuesday judges looked at displays in Exmouth and at East Budleigh, Littleham and Budleigh Salterton the previous Friday.

South West in Bloom is more than just floral displays; each area is judged on cleanliness, recycling, and the use of sustainable products, wildlife habitats and community involvement.

Pat Prew, chairman of Budleigh in Bloom: "The judges were very impressed and they enjoyed it.

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"The competition is more than just plants and flowers, and they were taken to the recycling centre while members of the Otter Valley Association talked about their work.

"They also visited St Peter's School to see their new environmental and bog gardens."

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Littleham in Bloom's Jill Gegg said the judges liked the efforts of the wider community:

"Children from Littleham School planted busy lizzies in grow bags at the Leisure Centre while the Chill youth club planted flowers in a boat.

"And also at the Leisure Centre, residents of Capel Lane planted troughs with their house numbers on.

"It has been a great community effort and I think the judges recognised that.

"We are hopeful about our chances - we got silver gilt in the villages section last year and we hope to make that gold."

Last year, Exmouth was awarded gold in the large town category, winning the St Bridget's Cup.

The Greenfingers Group at Exmouth Quay won a discretionary award, while chairman of the Exmouth Group Pat Graham won the Community Champion Award for 'exceptional dedication.'

She said: "We took them around the town and there wasn't any litter or weeds on the pavements and only one spot of graffiti.

"We also highlighted the community involvement."

The team took the judges to Marpool Primary's vegetable garden, the Devon Wildlife Trust Garden at Hamilton Lane and to Exmouth Quay.

She added: "I just want to thank the tidy group, the various residents, associations and staff at East Devon - they couldn't have given us more support."

Mayor Darryl Nicholas said they were also 'very impressed' with the floral displays at the Brixington Village Shops.

Judges also visited East Budleigh, including Salem Chapel where Drake's School children showed their entry for the RHJS Neighbourhood Award and the school allotment.

Beryl Maynard of East Budleigh in Bloom said the judges "particularly liked this year's gentle colour scheme of blues and yellows threading through the length of the village.

"They were also impressed by the number of trees there are in the village's public spaces."

All entries have to wait until September for the results.

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