#Exeter wins Silver Gilt in Britain in Bloom

The City of Exeter was chosen to represent the South West in the Small City category in 2016 RHS Britain in Bloom National Competition and will up against Harrogate, Loughborough, Rugby, Colchester and Canterbury.

The whole project – featuring volunteers across the city – was co-ordinated by the Exeter in Bloom team, led by Christine Fraser.

At the SW in Bloom Awards held at Somerset County Cricket Ground on Thursday, Exeter won the ‘South West Tourism Cup’ – presented to Exeter’s Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Peter Holland, by Lord Fellowes, Patron of RHS South West in Bloom.

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South West Tourism Cup
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Exeter’s Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Peter Holland, being presented with the South West Tourism Cup

Checking the engravings, it appears tha Exeter was the very FIRST winner of the trophy in 1973! Since then, Exeter has won the trophy 10 times.  So, excluding Plymouth and other occasional winners, the current score is:
Exeter 10 – Bath 12!

The success is  a real tribute to the collaborative efforts of Council staff, University of Exeter grounds team, some generous business sponsors and the host of green-fingered community volunteers

It’s Your Neighbourhood [IYN] Community Awards were presented to our volunteers by The Lord Mayor of Exeter at the Guildhall celebration on Wednesday 12 October.

In total, there were 28 IYN groups across Exeter – the highest numberof IYNs from any town/city in the South West. There were also 4 Pennant groups – again, the highest number from any town/city in the South West.

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And at the national Britain in Bloom gala awards ceremony – held in Birmingham on 14 October – Exeter’s entry was awarded SILVER GILT.
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Paul Bull, Christine Fraser, Diana Moore and Stella Hinton with the Brtain in Bloom Flag  
What the National Judges said about Exeter: ‘From the start of it appeared that most of Exeter was involved and engaged with Bloom – from the City Council, Devon Wildlife Trust, University of Exeter, BID Exeter and many for. Their enthusiasm and commitment to Bloom is amazing…’

They go on to say. ‘The university grounds were just spectacular and the collection of different specimen trees was just amazing…’

The judges commented on the BID’s cleansing vehicles in the City Centre; the excellent Princesshay roof-top garden and bees, and on Community Participation they said: ‘There are too many to mention and they need congratulation – their presence and support was tremendous’.
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As Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Communities and Neighbourhoods, it’s great to note that the Exeter entry was classified GOLD for community engagement. I understand that the RHS Head of Communities came over to the Exeter table at the gala dinner to comment on that achievement.

For me, I want to give thanks for all the hundreds of volunteers to worked to make a difference in their communities – the award of the Silver Gilt is just a part of marking their achievements.

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