‘Belper can win Britain in Bloom’, says John

John Nelson, Belper town councillor is backing the town's Britain in Bloom bid.
John Nelson, Belper town councillor is backing the town's Britain in Bloom bid.

WINNING Britain in Bloom 2012 would be “what dreams are made of”, according to one excited Belper town councillor.

John Nelson is gearing up for an all-out assault on the prestigious title, saying it would be the perfect result after 20 years of hard work.

It has been revealed that Belper is to represent the East Midlands in the national competition and Cllr Nelson believes the town can emerge victorious.

“We will win it,” he said. “There is such a lot of enthusiasm from people in Belper for this.

“Everyone wants to come on board and help us.

“To win it would be what dreams are made of.”

It is the first time Belper has ever competed in the national competition.

The town has gained entry because it has won the East Midlands in Bloom gold award for the last two years, something Cllr Nelson said is testament to a lot of hard work.

“Twenty years ago myself and Jack McKee started cleaning the town up,” said Cllr Nelson. “We did everything but win, but then we won two gold awards in a row.

“Jack McKee will be looking down on us and willing us to win.

“And Belper can win. I wouldn’t have entered if I didn’t think we could win.”

It will be competing in the Large Town category, alongside nine others.

Cllr Nelson said: “We, the little town of Belper, are taking on the rest of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland. We can win.

“We are calling a meeting for next month to bring everyone together and get it going.

“I am really looking forward to it. The people of Belper really do respond to this.

“We have got all sorts of schools, centres and groups taking part. We need everyone to join in.

“It’s not just about flowers, it’s about cleanliness, the woods, the whole community. We want everyone to get involved.

“This will put Belper on the map for the whole country to see.”

Cllr Nelson said the Britain in Bloom judges would visit the town in August — a month after the East Midlands in Bloom judges again.

The national results will be announced in October in St Peter Port, Guernsey.

A total of 72 other places, from more than 1,000 entries, from around the UK will be competing in different categories in the competition.

Cllr Nelson added: “If Belper wins, I will personally pay for myself and my wife to go out there and pick up the trophy.”

Sue Biggs, director general of the Royal Horticultural Society, said: “Britain in Bloom would not be the amazing success it is without the enormous number of volunteers who are committed to greening up their corner of the nation — dynamic people, all wanting to make the UK a better place to live. I wish them all the very best of luck.”