East Midlands in Bloom is the regional floral based competition that forms part of the national Britain in Bloom competition organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Pride of the Borough take the lead in organising the borough's entry into East Midlands in Bloom working alongside the council to show the borough at its best.
The entry is judged on 3 main ‘pillars’.
Horticultural Excellence (50% marks)
As you would expect in a competition with ‘bloom’ in its title floral displays are very important. It is the overall look of the quality, not just quantity, of the planting displays that is required. The judges are looking for more than just seasonal bedding. It is important to have an appropriate mix of planting especially in these times of cutbacks when simply replacing huge beds of seasonal planting can be very costly. The judges will also be looking for examples of good planting in all areas including parks and open spaces, business districts and of course residential front gardens.
Environmental Responsibility (25% marks)
This section deals with how well the district is maintained, e.g. no litter or graffiti, the standard of maintenance of street furniture (benches, bins, etc), in other words the way a place looks and is cared for, and how the local heritage is reflected in the community. The judges will be interested in how ‘environmentally friendly’ we are, how we use our resources and how we protect and encourage wildlife, for example bee friendly planting and wildflower meadows.
Community Participation (25% marks)
This is all about how the community of all ages is involved, these predominately volunteer groups will be able to show off all their hard work and to demonstrate how they have helped to improve the environment of their district. Volunteers can’t do everything on their own and obviously, the local authority cannot achieve everything on its own, but by working together they can achieve great things. It is not just about making an area look good for one day, the judges are also wanting to learn about year-round activities and these can be reflected in a portfolio given to the judges when, often with pictures, the year-round activities can be shown demonstrated.
Judging for the regional competition takes place in the first two weeks of July and the nationals in August. Entries are divided into categories, depending on the number on the electoral role, of Villages, Towns and Cities with each again being split into small and large eg Small Village, Village and Large Village. As we enter the whole of our borough into the competition we are classed as a Small City entry. In our region, we are against places like Loughborough, Chesterfield and Grimsby.
Each year we produce a portfolio to inform the judges of all our activities over the previous twelve months. A copy of this year's portfolio can be downloaded here.
Each entrant is given an award depending on their level of success, these range from Bronze, Silver, Silver Gilt and Gold. The highest score in each category, regardless of level of award, is the winner and receives a trophy at the awards ceremony held each September (October for the nationals).
In the past 8 years, we are proud to have achieved a Gold Award reflecting the hard work of so many people. Based on our continued high achievements, Oadby & Wigston have been asked to represent the region in the national finals 2017.