Belper gardeners take top spot at East Midlands in Bloom

Members of the Belper In Bloom committee celebrate regional success thanks to the dazzling floral displays throughout the town.
Members of the Belper In Bloom committee celebrate regional success thanks to the dazzling floral displays throughout the town.

Belper is celebrating another year of success in the East Midlands in Bloom civic gardening competition after being named best large town.

The efforts of Belper Town Council and its partner organisations were awarded the gold standard at a ceremony in Boston, Lincolnshire, on Wednesday, September 13.

Council outdoor staff Stewart Hopkinson and Andrew Sanders enjoy a moment with the trophy after months of hard work.

Council outdoor staff Stewart Hopkinson and Andrew Sanders enjoy a moment with the trophy after months of hard work.

Councillor John Nelson said: “It’s a tremendous achievement and we have every confidence that we shall now do well in the national awards.

“The staff at the town council, Amber Valley Borough Council, and the community of Belper have done the town proud.”

In addition to the main award, judges also gave a special award to Calders Corner—an area owned by Amber Valley Borough Council—which has been transformed by the Belper Gardening Club from a neglected open space to an attractive area.

In their full report, judges praised numerous features of this year’s design scheme, including the Field Lane water wheel, Memorial Gardens bridge, River Gardens planting and the floral displays in the town centre.

They were impressed by the way the entry was supported by residents with front gardens along Wyver Lane, Lowlands Road and Leighton Way.

They also mentioned the widespread level of business support, especially from the Lion, Talbot Hotel and the Greyhound pubs.

Judges also noted the transformation of Belper rail station and works undertaken by Transition Belper and other voluntary groups.

They singled out the continued improvements at Wyver Lane Nature Reserve for particular praise, described the the Strutts community rain garden as ‘‘an amazing concept’, and complimented the way the town’s entry drew on its unique heritage.

Belper in Bloom.
The Memorial Gardens.

Belper in Bloom. The Memorial Gardens.

Everyone involved in the competition entry is now eagerly awaiting the results of its Britain in Bloom entry, with the award ceremony taking place in Llandudno, Wales, on Friday, October 27.

Judges from the Royal Horticultural Society have been travelling the country all summer, and Belper is up against Altrincham, Ballymena, Chesham, Farnham, Kendal and Truro.

Belper in Bloom.
The Memorial Gardens.

Belper in Bloom. The Memorial Gardens.

Floral displays in the grounds of the St John's Chapel.

Floral displays in the grounds of the St John's Chapel.

Planting scheme on the corner of Field Lane and Bridge Street.

Planting scheme on the corner of Field Lane and Bridge Street.

The Memorial Gardens.

The Memorial Gardens.

Planting scheme on The Triangle looking up Bridge Street.

Planting scheme on The Triangle looking up Bridge Street.