A ‘HORTICULTURAL delight’ – that is how judges described Rugby as the town set the gold standard for a 14th time in a row at the Heart of England in Bloom Awards.
Rugby was presented with a gold award in the ‘small city’ category, accepted by Mayor Carolyn Watson-Merret at a ceremony at Birmingham’s Tally Ho Conference and Banqueting Centre.
Rugby also received a special grounds maintenance award, recognising the efforts of the council’s parks and grounds team to keep green spaces in peak condition during the pandemic.
And Dunchurch’s entry in the large village category, submitted by the Friends of Dunchurch Society, won a gold award and was named overall category winner.
The theme for this year’s Rugby in Bloom was Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
Judges were taken on a tour of the town in July, visiting Brownsover Community School, Caldecott Park, Rugby School, and the Great Central Walk nature reserve.
In addition to the floral displays, which the judges described as a ‘horticultural delight’, the tour included visits to examples of Rugby Borough Council’s work to boost biodiversity and enhance the borough’s environment.
Judges praised the council’s RugBEE project, which has created pollinator-friendly environments to support the needs of bees and other pollinating insects, and ongoing work to expand the Rugby Park Connector Network – a network of ‘green’ travel corridors in the borough comprising 5,000 metres of new or improved pathways, illuminated by solar-powered lights.
The judges also highlighted the council’s partnership with the Rotary Club of Rugby, Rugby Wildlife Group and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, which has created a thriving wildlife habitat and a place for education and recreation on the Great Central Walk.
The judges said: “This was a tour which demonstrated the core values and aspirations of In Bloom continue to go from strength-to-strength despite the disruption and impact of recent times.
“The continued level of engagement across Rugby’s diverse community, both young and old, is outstanding.”
Coun Watson-Merret said: “Our Rugby in Bloom entry relies on the whole community coming together to make the borough a beautiful, biodiverse place to live.
“From residents, volunteers and schools to community organisations, businesses and sponsors, it’s a real team effort which I’m delighted the judges recognised and rewarded with gold.”