Champions back in the race for bloom prize

Lytham In Bloom chairman Jim Leak with the RHS Champion of Champions award 2013, watched by fellow committee members
Lytham In Bloom chairman Jim Leak with the RHS Champion of Champions award 2013, watched by fellow committee members

Lytham’s In Bloom’s dedicated band of volunteers are eagerly looking forward to flying the Fylde flag again this year in national competition.

After being awarded Britain In Bloom’s ultimate prize of Champion of Champions in 2013, Lytham wasn’t eligible for the national contest last year.

But a gold award in its class at North West In Bloom 2014 earned the town the opportunity to aim for a more Britain in Bloom success – and its status as a finalist has been confirmed by organisers the Royal Horticultural Society.

Lytham is one of six - alongside Whitby, St Pierre du Bois in Guernsey, St Brelade in Jersey, North Berwick in Scotland and Dartmouth in Devon – to be named in the Coastal up to 12,000 population category.

The judges will be in town in early August, around the time that Lytham will be staging its biggest Proms Festival yet.

In Bloom chairman Jim Leak said: “The town will be at its vibrant best and we are all very much looking forward to being judged in the national competition again.”

Lytham is going for a third Britain In Bloom success after first taking the national prize on its debut in 2007 and preparations for colourful displays all across town are already well under way.

Thousands of bulbs, including 3,000 on the Ballam Road triangle funded by the Rotary Club, have been planted with the help of Kirkham Open Prison, while some 150 hanging baskets and 50 planters are set to be sited around town.

A string of striking floral displays will include a floral windmill in the piazza while the market square and Lowther Gardens will also be a cavalcade of colour.

Judges from the RHS 
assess everything from local recycling initiatives to areas of natural habitat and conservation.

They also look at the management of street furniture and public parks, and evaluate how well groups are responding to climate change and engaging the community in their local Bloom activities.

Following the judging tours in August, results will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.