Everything’s coming up roses for Dunstable, with the town winning a Gold in the prestigious Anglia in Bloom competition for the fourth time in six years.
Promoting Dunstable and the town council’s Dunstable in Bloom group were delighted as two more projects were also nominated for a prize at the results ceremony on Thursday at Wodson Park, after Dunstable scooped its prize for the Large Town category.
Mayors and civic heads from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk found out the outcome of the 2015 contest following a July visit of the judging team to Dunstable.
Incredible Edible Dunstable, of Katherine Drive, was proposed for Best Community Project and Weatherfield Academy was nominated for Best Young People’s Project (aged 12 years and under).
John Crawley, Dunstable Town Council representative for Dunstable in Bloom said: “It’s wonderful and marks where we are at this particular moment in time.
“The town council worked very closely with the group Promoting Dunstable and its volunteers, and it was a delight to go to the awards ceremony and celebrate the success of schools, community groups and young people.”
Anglia in Bloom saw pupils at Weatherfield Academy promote the Dunstable in Bloom 2015 theme of ‘Bees’, by creating a bee garden to encourage a rich environment of nectar and increase habitats.
Meanwhile, Incredible Edible Dunstable saw Sahira Ward and helpers breathe new life into the area by transforming rat infested shrubs on Katharine Drive into a fruit and vegetable garden with some flowers.
Sahira said: “Our Incredible garden is such a wonderful tranquil place to be and many find sanctuary here. It’s a lovely place to clear our minds of trouble, yet at the same time it’s such a stimulating place for children to learn, and enjoy the outdoor space.
“I am really passionate about gardening and I think this comes across to the people that employ me.”
Sahira also runs her business Sweet Pea Garden Services, Dunstable, which she started in 2010, after developing a love of gardening from her family. My grandfather used to leave surplus produce at the end of his front gate with an honesty box for donations; it would be wonderful to have that level of honesty returned to our neighbourhood.”
Hugh Garrod, Chair of Promoting Dunstable, added: “The competition is important because it makes the town an attractive place to shop work and live in, while it also encourages community cohesion as residents are working together towards a common cause.
“We would really like to go for Gold in 2016, and are hoping to have the theme of ‘Wheels’ to celebrate Dunstable’s transport history.”
The 2015 Winner and Gold Award for Large Town (12,001 - 35,000 residents) was Wisbech, while the winner of Best Community Project went to the Certificate of Merit Scheme, Bury St. Edmunds. Meanwhile, South Wooten Junior School proudly came first place in Best Young People’s Project (aged 12 and under).
Dunstable in Bloom’s own awards ceremony will be held at Weatherfield Academy at 7.30pm on September 23, while Sahira is inviting people to attend her ‘Come ‘n’ Grow’ session on Saturday, October 3 from 11am-1pm at Katherine Drive, Dunstable.
To help with Sahira’s project or find her business search Incredible Edible Dunstable and Sweet Pea Garden Services on Facebook, while those wishing to get involved in Dunstable in Bloom can email firstname.lastname@example.org.