Following on from the regional South & South East in Bloom judging on the 9th July, Royal Horticultural Society judges Ian Beaney and Lesley Jelleyman visited our town on Monday 29th July for the national Britain in Bloom judging, with New Milton being just one of seven nominated towns put forward for the Town & City Centre awards.
The circuit took the judges, along with Graham Flexman, Town Clerk, Cllr Alvin Reid, Town Mayor, Cllr Geoff Blunden, Chairman of the Amenities Committee and Mark Jeffries, Estates & Facilities Manager on a tour starting with the Community Centre where they were greeted by Chairman Marie Morgan, and Genevieve their gardener. Then it was off down the high street, stopping at the Recreation Ground and meeting up with Alan Watson and Angela Jackson of the NMRA as well as members of the New Milton Men’s Shed who shared a portfolio of works carried out by their volunteers.
The judges also met Silma Ramsaywack, the council’s Youth Services Manager who showed them around the skatepark and talked about the forthcoming Youth Music & Cultural Festival event happening on the Rec on Saturday 10th August (see attached). Some of the skatepark users helped make New Milton Bloom, planting lavender around part of this town centre facility themselves.
The judges then visited Forest Arts to admire the impressive and newly decorated entrance fresco that was designed and painted by local children using their designs. Then to Chaucombe Green to meet pupils from New Milton Junior School gardening Club and admire their planting of the rockery. Judges were also treated to a talk on this area by local historian Nick Saunders who illustrated how the conservation area had evolved over the centuries, from Domesday to the present time.
On the cliff top, Barton Bees WI were on hand at the Indian Memorial to show judges their handy work in maintaining the planted areas around the Indian Obelisk. Again, Nick Saunders was on hand to explain the history of the monument erected by local people in honour of Indian Army personnel who recuperated there during WW1.
The Mayor of New Milton, Cllr Alvin Reid passed on his heart-felt thanks to everyone involved in making the town look so wonderful:
“There are three categories in which we were judged: Community, Environment and Horticulture. Because of the activities of community groups such as NMRA, The Men’s Shed, school groups, and WI teams, I believe we did extremely well in the community category. Because of our environment initiatives, including actions of the Town Council in water saving / use of electric vehicles, I believe we did well in the environment category. Because of the work of the Town Council team, I believe we did well in the horticulture category especially with our floral displays and wildflower planting in particular.”
The result of the regional South & South East in Bloom judging will be made known in Brighton in September, with the National Britain in Bloom results announced in London in October.
Contact Graham Flexman, Town Clerk, New Milton Town Council
–End– 30th July 2019