Belper reaches finals of Britain in Bloom competition

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Belper has been selected to represent the East Midlands region in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals 2017.

The town, which won gold at last year’s regional In Bloom competition, will join 73 other national finalists competing to be crowned one of the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful places in the UK.

The finalists were chosen for their commitment to environmental responsibility, their high levels of community participation and their outstanding gardening achievements.

East Midlands in Bloom chairman Jeff Bates said: “2016 was a great year for us, with three of our representatives achieving gold awards in RHS Britain in Bloom.

“We are looking forward to even more success this year from our entrants, who are a perfect mix of experienced and new Bloom groups.”

The theme for Belper’s entry this year is water, and volunteers have been in full flow in recent weeks meeting to discuss ways of celebrating the precious resources which powered the industrial revolution.

Belper is joined on the regional list by Littleover, Mansfield Business Improvement District, Market Bosworth, Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire, and Uppingham in Rutland.

RHS spokesman Andrea Van Sittart said: “Congratulations to all the groups on reaching the UK Finals of this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom campaign.

“To get this far is a fantastic achievement for all the groups and the armies of volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to make Britain a more beautiful place to live.”

Between them the six groups will grow thousands of plants across the region, transforming grey and underused areas into green spaces that benefit their communities and the environment.

In August, the finalists will lead judges on a tour of their areas in the hope of scooping a top award.

The winners will be announced at the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales on 27 October.

Andrea added: “That we have such a breadth of finalists is testament to the reach and relevance of the campaign, with finalists representing an incredibly diverse range of places, from small rural villages, right through to vast urban areas in our inner cities.

“We wish the East Midlands finalists the very best of luck as they embark on a gardening year to remember.”

To find out more about plans for Belper’s entry, and ways to get involved, follow all the organisers’ latest activities online at www.facebook.com/belperinbloom.