Cullybackey hoping to ‘clean up’ in Britain in Bloom Competition

Elizabeth Boyd, Bertie McNeilly and Margaret Murphy are hoping for success in Cullybackey

Britain in Bloom is the UK’s biggest community gardening campaign – up to 300,000 volunteers are involved in transforming our villages, towns and cities into greener and more pleasant places to live.

The quest to find cleanest, greenest and most beautiful places in the UK in 2019 has begun.

There are 70 entries in the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom Finals competition for 2019 and this year’s top Bloomers hail from all corners of the UK, from Sark in the Channel Islands, to the urban heart of London, and our own Cullybackey.

The RHS Britain in Bloom judges will visit each of the finalists in August with the winners of each category announced at an awards ceremony in the autumn.

Cullybackey is competing in the Large Village category and the Cullybackey Community Partnership and Council have been working together to ensure the village will impress.

The judges will tour the village viewing private residences, businesses, Shellinghill Park, Millennium Walk and Galgorm Wood.

Cullybackey will be assessed across three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Maureen Morrow, said: “The Cullybackey Community Partnership volunteers have given up so much of their time to plant floral and wildflower displays, carry out clean ups, remove weeds and ‘green the grey’ by brightening up forgotten corners with murals and heritage features.

“Council staff have supported the volunteers throughout and it has been great to see more and more local businesses getting involved. The village looks wonderful and it is a real credit to all involved. I have no doubt Cullybackey will do well on judging day.”

Ruth Orr, Chairperson of the Cullybackey Community Partnership, said: “We are delighted that such a large number of people from the village has been involved this year.

“We have worked on a number of new initiatives in the village including recycling and composting and have made key features showcasing the village’s industrial heritage.

“We have also developed the ‘Cullybackey BEARS’ clean-up campaign, which stands for ‘Be Environmentally Aware and Responsible’, and which has been very well received with a large number of cleans ups happening throughout the year.

“We are confident Cullybackey will be in full bloom for the Britain in Bloom judges arrival and we can show them our community spirit.”

Britain in Bloom is the UK’s biggest community gardening campaign – up to 300,000 volunteers are involved in transforming our villages, towns and cities into greener and more pleasant places to live.

The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. The RHS’s vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place, and encourage everyone in every village, town and city to benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

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