Becoming a Champion of Champions’ contender.

This year marks a major milestone for the beautiful market town of Kingsbridge as it moves forward into the highest achievable judging category in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom Finals.  Last year it won the Best Small Town in Britain category.

With the stunning backdrop of the estuary, the Kingsbridge in Bloom team, working in partnership with South Hams District Council and Kingsbridge Town Council, have introduced stunning new floral features that have been planted to attract the wildlife.

In early July and August, two RHS judges will begin a three hour tour of the town that will take in many regenerated heritage sites, as well as the Memorial Recreation Ground.  Over the past few years, the Ground has been transformed into one of the best parks in the country.  This area has also been awarded a coveted Green Flag and Five Star status for the RHS ‘Love Your Park’.

During the 2019 judging, the District Council’s horticulturists with the Kingsbridge in Bloom team, will meet the judges. 

With only five towns and cities in the top category this year throughout the UK, competition is strong as Kingsbridge is pitted against, Castlecauldfield in Northern Ireland; Perth in Scotland; Durham and St Helier in the Channel Islands.

South Hams District Council’s Leader, Cllr Judy Pearce, said: “We are delighted to be in the top five of this prominent national competition.  We are now part of an exclusive group who have all won Green Flag Awards for many years in a row.  It clearly shows what can be achieved when those with excellent knowledge of horticulture, like our Grounds Maintenance teams, work together with the skill of the Kingsbridge in Bloom team and the support of many local residents, who come together with a strong sense of community engagement to achieve excellence.

“If you have visited the Kingsbridge Memorial Recreational Ground, you will have seen the fruits of their labour and it’s wonderful that they are now in the final of the Champion of Champions competition.”

Regional judging will take place on Friday 5 July, with the additional prestigious ‘Champion of Champions’  and ‘Love your Park’ judging taking place at the beginning of August. 

Kingsbridge Town Mayor, Councillor Anne Balkwill, said: “The whole Kingsbridge community is immensely proud of the incredible dedication, time and energy the Kingsbridge In Bloom volunteers put into making the town look so beautiful. To be in the Champion of Champions final and up against the likes of St Helier, Jersey and Perth, Scotland is testament to their achievements. Somebody has to be crowned UK Champion and you never know…”

Graham Price, Chairman of Kingsbridge in Bloom, added: “Having achieved the RHS Britain in Bloom Gold Award at both regional and national level and best small town in Britain in 2018, Kingsbridge has been nominated to compete at the very highest category of Champion of Champions 2019. To compete at this level, the RHS recognise towns and cities who have consistently displayed exceptional achievements in their locality over a number of years.  Now in our 12th year and working with SHDC, our enthusiastic team are on target for another exceptional year.

“Our main theme for Kingsbridge this year is a celebration of our wildlife and in particular our pollinators with a spectacular display on the town square featuring a 5m Willow arch and pollinator planting throughout. This also ties into the honey that was first sold by the monks of Buckfast Abbey on the town market in 1219, when the town received its royal charter to hold a weekly market in the town.

“The team have worked tirelessly to keep Kingsbridge thriving and attractive throughout the year, come rain or shine and we are now on the countdown to judging in early July and August and hopeful for another great result in this, our very special 800 year celebration.”

For more information about the RHS competition, go to: https://www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/community-gardening/news/articles/britain-in-bloom-finalists

For more information see Kingsbridge in Bloom