After a glorious summer, the Harrogate district is celebrating success at the 2014 Yorkshire In Bloom awards.
Knaresborough, Spofforth and Starbeck all received awards at Tuesday night’s ceremony.
Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and External Affairs was delighted with the district’s success: “Once again, our borough has received wide ranging recognition at the Yorkshire in Bloom Awards. The awards do not only showcase the best floral displays across Yorkshire, they also recognise the hard work and dedication of the volunteers, businesses, school children, community groups, and other organisations who help create these eye-catching horticultural designs.
“I would also like to thank the council’s parks and street cleansing teams - from the staff in the office who plan the flower beds, to the nursery staff that grow the plants, the individuals who keep our district tidy and the admin team who help make it all possible.
“We are very lucky to be able to work with such dedicated individuals and communities and everyone who has been involved should be commended. Their efforts really bring the villages and towns in the district to life and add a wonderful splash of colour. Residents of the district must feel lucky to live in such a vibrant place, while visitors must feel envious that they do not wake up everyday in such a beautiful part of the world.”
Ripon Racecourse was awarded the Gold Rose Award.
A spokesperson said: “YiB organises annual competitions to encourage communities of whatever size; small villages, towns or big cities, to make positive and lasting improvements to their local environment for the benefit of local people, and it is not just about planting flowers and hanging baskets.
“This is a great credit to the ground staff at Ripon for keeping up such high standards and retaining the Gold Rose status that we were awarded with back in 2011 & 2012.
“The very nature of YiB encourages and develops community spirit and civic pride whilst promoting responsibility for planting, cleanliness and maintenance. This is turn can boost the local economy through increased tourism, stimulates voluntary work and co-operation between community groups and is a means to address issues such as sustainability, recycling, minimising waste and energy conservation.
The feedback given by YiB to Ripon Racecourse was: “Congratulations to the Head Gardener and his small staff for their preparation of the Racecourse site after the very recent departure of the Tour de France. The staff had amazingly restored the 198 acres of grass after the inundation of tents, bikes, runners and the public.
“The many floral features and formal beds throughout were exceptionally well edged. The planting around the elegant bandstand was eye-catching, further enhanced by the many well painted and positioned seats”
“Some 60 well painted litter bins much contributed to Cleanliness and to a total lack of litter. The Racecourse has a multi-purpose usage, with more than 50 events being annually held - car rallies, caravan weekends and Olympic triathlons being only a few”
Head Groundsman Carl Tonks said: “Thanks to the continued hard work and dedication of the whole team, we have been awarded with a well-deserved Gold award. From all the team here, we think it’s blooming marvellous”
Founder of Starbeck in Bloom Christine Stewart said: “Gold and more Gold ! What an amazing day Starbeck in Bloom had on Tuesday at the Yorkshire in Bloom Award ceremony at York Racecourse. We received a Gold award for Starbeck in the urban category and even better were nominated as Best in Category.
“There are ten entrants in this group so that was a fantastic achievement. We were just all recovering from that and taking our photographs and tweeting when it was announced that Starbeck was the Best Community in all of Yorkshire!
“Doesn’t it make us all feel proud to live here. The team has worked so hard this year against the changeable weather,the extra work for the Tour de France and Starbeck has looked good but the community award is for each one of you.
“It recognises that Starbeck pulls together,young and old,that each group is valued and that together we can say “We are the Best”
“So many people work together to achieve this and I hope many of you will come to the Presentation evening at Methodist church next Monday at 7pm to celebrate with us.
“I have put the whole citation and comments in the community noticeboard on Belmont field -do take a look.”
Over 50 volunteer judges travelled the length and breadth of the county to visit the 225 groups and businesses across the region that take part in the annual competition.
Organised by Yorkshire in Bloom as part of the RHS Britain in Bloom national competition it aims to encourage communities of all sizes to make positive and lasting improvements to their local environment.
Village: Spofforth – Gold Medal and category winner.
Urban Community: Starbeck - Gold Medal and category winner.
Large Town/Small City (12,001 to 35,000 population): Knaresborough – Gold Medal and category winner.
Village: Kirkby Malzeard – Silver Gilt Medal.
Public, Private and Charitable Establishment: Knaresborough House – Gold Medal: Audley Court Estates Limited, Harrogate – Silver Gilt Medal: HORTICAP, Harrogate – Silver Gilt Medal: Swan Court, Harrogate – Silver Medal.
Large Hotels: Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate – Gold Medal: Nidd Hall Hotel, Knaresborough – Silver Gilt Medal.
Visitor Attractions: – Knaresborough Castle – Gold Medal: Ripon Racecourse – Gold Medal.
Open Spaces - Friends of groups for Parks, Small Spaces, Churchyards: Ginny Greenholes, Spofforth – Platinum Medal: Spofforth Millennium Garden – Platinum Medal.
Harrogate Flower Show Young Peoples Award: Moorside Infant School, Ripon – Silver Gilt Medal.
RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood: Badger Hill, Knaresborough – Thriving: Ripon Workhouse Garden – Thriving: Starbeck Methodist Church – Developing: Woodfield Millennium Green, Harrogate – Developing: Woodlands Community Garden, Harrogate – Improving.
In addition, the region picked up four Discretionary Yorkshire Rose Awards as follows:
Tourism Award: Knaresborough.
Community Award Winner Large Groups: Spofforth and Starbeck.
Memorial Award Joint Winner: Knaresborough (shared with Grenoside, South Yorkshire).