Penrith in Bloom
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About Penrith in Bloom
In 2016, Penrith was invited to take part in the Cumbria in Bloom Competition. After receiving a number of awards in 2016 and 2017, Penrith was chosen as a finalist in the highly respected 2018 Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain Competition. Penrith received a number of awards from both Cumbria and Britain in Bloom in 2018, including an overall Silver Gilt Award from RHS Britain in Bloom.
Penrith Town Council formed the ‘Penrith in Bloom’ Group in early 2018. Local participants include the Penrith Community Gardeners, gardening volunteers, volunteers who had mental health or learning disabilities from 4Eden, various environmental groups Eden District Council , Penrith Business Improvement District and other local businesses, all of whom work towards helping the environment and/or enhancing the town with beautiful blooms
Town Council Officers engage with participating groups and regularly update the Penrith in Bloom social media pages which publicises what’s happening and keeps everyone up to speed with ‘in bloom’ developments. The Town Council also provides grant funding and/or Officer support to individuals and groups. In addition, Town Council Officers organise the Cumbria and Britain in Bloom applications for awards, co-ordinate arrangements for judging and compile the ‘Portfolio’, which uses text and images to describe the local projects.
Community participation, close collaboration and mutual support in addition to interaction on-line and face to face, has helped connect the groups involved and has also helped make their different projects known to others who live in the town as well as those visiting or passing through. Sharing experiences together with the health benefits of seeing beautiful blooms has created positive feelings and has helped build community spirit, important elements in making Penrith a well loved and beautiful place to live in, visit and work.
Over the past few months when the world has been suffering a global pandemic, Penrith’s indomitable ‘in bloomers’ have come together to work – at a safe distance – on various horticultural and environmentally friendly projects around town.
This has been an exceptionally difficult year for everyone the world over as the interviewees in the film below indicate. However, despite all the challenges, Penrith has bloomed. The film captures the town’s strong community spirit, volunteer determination and people’s genuine love for Penrith and one another. Care for the environment is central too. You might feel the raw emotion that runs throughout the video as well as the notion of working together to get things done and make a difference. Next year Penrith’s entries for ‘in Bloom’ might be bigger and better, but this year is particularly memorable because of all the COVID-19 barriers.
Video – Penrith in Bloom, 2020
To view the video from this website click on the image below.
Garden of Eden Penrith Community Gardeners
Descriptions and images of the Community Gardener’s work have been uploaded to the Cumbria in Bloom website. Here are so9me examples of the amazing projects they have developed.
The Community Gardeners led a sunflowers project, growing flowers in olive tins around Penrith town centre to welcome back traders and shoppers to the town after the first national lockdown for Covid-19.
Community Gardeners designed and planted up a Covid-19 Memorial border outside the Royal British Legion.
Penrith Station Project
Penrith Community Gardeners have continued throughout the lockdown to maintain the displays at Penrith railway station. This year a new project was started called ‘On the Wildside’. Taking over the empty track bed between platforms 2 & 3, loads of old compost from previous town planters was barrowed up the lift to the other side as the area to be ‘wilded’was very rocky.
One of the Community Gardeners in Penrith made wall boxes in the community workshop and Louise organised the shop keepers in Angel Lane to host them. Throughout the year the boxes are decorated and planted with different themes for Valentine’s Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas.
On the Wildside – Garden of Eden Community Gardeners
To view the video below from this website click on the image below.
Awards from Cumbria in Bloom, 2019
In September, 2019, Cumbria in Bloom awarded Penrith a grand total of 10 awards, including 2 Golds and a new Discretionary Award from the RHS and Cumbria in Bloom for involing young people. The Regional Awards recognise the outstanding efforts of all those who have participated and worked so hard to help protect our environment and make Penrith bloom in 2019.
Awards for the town as a whole include:
- ‘Friends of the Lake District Trophy for ‘Best Sustainable Development Town’
- ‘Best Large Town’ Award
- RHS and Cumbria In Bloom ‘Discretionary Award for Involvement of Young People’’
- Cumbria in Bloom ‘Pride in Your Community’ Gold Award’
Penrith BID received their own
- Cumbria in Bloom ‘Pride in Your Community’ Gold Award.
Penrith’s Community Gardening Groups were also presented with the following ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Awards
- Best Churchyard Runner Up – St Andrew’s Church, Penrith
- RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Award – Penrith Community Gardeners Polytunnel (Thriving)
- RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Award – 4EDEN (Outstanding)
- RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards – Great Dockray (Outstanding)
- RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards – Train Station (Outstanding)
Receiving the Regional Awards
Cllr Jonathan Davies and volunteer gardeners were extremely proud to receive the highly coveted Town awards, which acknowledge the enormous efforts of all the community groups, individuals and businesses involved. Joan Robinson, Louise Armstrong, Malcolm Carruthers and Laura Fossil were joined by Ellie Stack from Virgin Trains to accept the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ awards on behalf of the many dedicated and hard-working gardeners who volunteer their time so generously.
That’s TV Cumbria produced a short video (below) covering the Cumbria in Bloom Awards Ceremony.
Penrith in Bloom Short Film
Below is a film describing Penrith’s gardening and environmental projects involved in the Cumbria and Britain in Bloom 2019 Competitions .
Cumbria in Bloom – Images from the ‘Cumbria in Bloom’ Judges Tour on 9th July, 2019
Below are a few images taken during the Cumbria in Bloom judges tour. Click on each image to enlarge.
Britain in Bloom – Images from the ‘Britain in Bloom’ Judges Tour on Friday 2nd August, 2019.
Below are a few photos of the judges and some community volunteers during the recent Britain in Bloom tour of the town to assess blooms, environmental approaches and levels of community participation. Click on each image to enlarge.
Penrith in Bloom Facebook Page
Check out the Facebook pages for Penrith in Bloom, administered by PTC and updated regularly with information, images and video clips.
Below are some animated image clips showcasing some of our town’s creative projects in 2019. They include a mix of beautiful blooms and edible plants. Click the ‘sound on’ at right hand bottom of clips to enjoy the music.
Richard 111rd Project in Great Dockray – while in development!
Springtime in Penrith, 2019 – Community Gardeners are gearing up!
A reminder of blooms in Penrith in 2018, when the town won many awards from Cumbria and Britain in Bloom, including a National Silver Gilt.
It’s Cool to Bin It, May Day, 2018