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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

RHS judges are coming to Luddenden

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Judges will be visiting Luddenden on Thursday 4 August as part of the UK-wide judging tour for RHS Britain in Bloom 2011, supported by Anglian Home Improvements, the largest horticultural campaign in Europe. Luddenden is among the 76 finalist communities, chosen from over 1,000 cities, towns, villages and urban communities throughout the UK.

Luddenden's green-fingered troops will be deadheading, pruning, watering and putting their final touches to local Bloom projects in order to wow judges Andrew Jackson and Jim Knight who will be visiting between 8.45am until 10.30am. As a finalist community in the Village category, alongside Berrynarbor, Elswick, Filby, Newcastleton and Rosliston, Luddenden hopes to score top marks and be announced category winner come late September.

Roger Burnett, RHS Britain in Bloom UK Judges Chairman, said: 'It's an absolute privilege and joy to be an RHS judge involved in this hugely worthwhile campaign. As well as enjoying the breathtakingly stunning displays and seeing the colossal efforts communities have made to make their towns, villages or cities nicer places to be, I also love meeting the people responsible. They are truly wonderful and the passion they have is both inspiring and infectious ? I leave each community buzzing with excitement and also slightly disappointed not to have been able to stay longer!'

The panel of RHS Bloom judges are touring between 1-13 August. As always, colourful, creative and beautiful floral displays await them, but visual impact is only part of it. Environmental responsibility will also be scrutinised, with sustainable planting, efforts to encourage wildlife and good use of resources being among the criteria. On top of this, judges will be reviewing community participation by measuring how much local people are aware of and actively involved in the campaign.

Together, there are six pairs of horticultural experts travelling tens of thousands of miles around the UK and meeting thousands of volunteers from the 76 finalist communities. They will be assessing many hundreds of community projects and around 1,140 acres of public green space, more than 3 Hyde Parks.

Each year, an estimated 200,000 volunteers (2012 London Olympics will have 70,000 volunteers for comparison) contribute an average of around 44 hours a year each to local Britain in Bloom activities, planting hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs and plants to green-up and clean-up almost a million acres of public space.

RHS Judge Andrew Jackson's message to Luddenden: 'Just relax and enjoy the experience! Judging Day is not about the judges. It is about your community and celebrating all that is best about it.'

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