When you read this article, the judging process for 2022 will likely already be over and contestants will be awaiting the results. It is hard to believe that the Edwinstowe in Bloom project began just six months before the Judging Day on 11th July, and it is thanks to all the volunteers and supporters that so much has been achieved.
Organisers don’t expect to win any prizes this year as it is only the first entry, but a good start has been made which can be expanded upon in the years to come. Who knows, one year Edwinstowe may win first prize for the best village! Meanwhile, this year those involved are keeping fingers crossed for King Edwin School entered in the Best School Garden category and Launay’s of Church Street, who entered best hotel category this year.
The existing working group includes representatives of the RSPB Sherwood Forest and Budby South Forest, Hope Springs Horticulture CIC, Edwinstowe Parish Council, the WI, Sherwood Forest Friends of the Earth and the person who first suggested the idea. Everyone has shown tremendous commitment and, as well as representing their organisation, has given hours of their time as volunteers.
The group wants to thank not only the volunteers for all the work they have done in the new flower beds round the village, and those who donated plants, but also all the businesses in the village, many of whom not only provided support but also funding that helped pay for additional planters, hanging baskets, high viz jackets, signage and bunting etc.
Some of the behind-the-scenes activities included several pebble painting sessions within the community and flower paintings for bunting at the Nightingale Care Home and Edwinstowe Brownies and Rainbows. The Beavers, Brownies and Cubs took part by sowing seeds, planting potatoes and making their own flower paintings. Edwinstowe Leisure Painters produced flower paintings and posters, and the Wednesday Craft Group made flower brooches and bunting. The Dukeries Community Workshop made planters from reclaimed decking, and Newark and Sherwood District Council is working to improve the planting in Church Farm courtyard and the Lynds Close planter.
Social Gardening sessions were held at St Mary’s Church and with the support of the RSPB, and the Community and Volunteer Development Officer, the group has been working on new small beds within the churchyard, at the Church rooms and will be adding to the Cenotaph Garden with a poppy bed. The intention is for regular Church Social Gardening sessions to take place in the future. The Village Hall committee supported the Buntathon project with free use of the Village Hall for sewing sessions, and a brilliant team of volunteers made 200 metres of bunting to decorate the village for the Platinum Jubilee and Edwinstowe in Bloom. It will stay up for the Tour of Britain.
Edwinstowe Cricket Club gave the use of their pavilion for the judging day, and the Club also hosted a pebble painting session at their Jubilee Fun Day.
The RSPB / Edwinstowe in Bloom volunteers and Inspire College learners undertook a willow tree planting session on the green space adjacent to the BT building and BT have improved the look of the building. The Fire Service and local residents helped with watering nearby flower beds. The local litter picking group supported with extra sessions in addition to their regular picks. Members have also been ‘balsam bashing’ to remove the invasive species from our riverbanks.
All of this resulted in a first year to make Edwinstowe proud – but it is not the end, it is just the beginning. The group is planning to make the Edwinstowe in Bloom Group a separate entity with its own constitution and bank account.
Volunteers will continue to maintain all the work that has been started and plan to highlight different topics around conservation, sustainability, our local environment etc.
Future plans include landscaping the Church Farm Business Centre courtyard and the Parish Council Bowling Green Park. Work on these projects is underway and local business IBA Planning has commissioned and paid for the services of a landscape designer to produce designs. Woodhead’s Business Centre has allowed the group to take over a piece of land to create a wildflower meadow, pollinator garden, wildlife area and space for composting, growing comfrey for plant food etc. There is another area, turned over, but left this year to develop self-set wild plants.
Next year the group will be inviting owners of residential gardens to compete for entry for the Best Residential Garden award.
Finally, the group offers a massive thank you to all volunteers, contributors, supporters and Facebook followers; they couldn’t have come this far without you. For more information find Edwinstowe in Bloom on Facebook.